VocaalLAB / Vocalconsort Berlin / Titus Engel

Canon & Chaos Hommage à Ockeghem

Sergej Newski

Sergej Newski

© Kai Bienert

Past Dates

Recording by Deutschlandradio Kultur: 12 July 2012, 00:05, Neue Musik

To start with is a barely audible moment. Sounds of breathing mix with amorphous sounds; isolated noises that seem almost autistic soon evolve into texts; singing results from sound structures of a voice disrobed of any grammar and semantics. In a dramaturgical exchange of phonetic reduction to complex sound, Autland broaches speechlessness that arises from an individual’s sense of isolation and impotence, and the battle to overcome it.

Texts by autistics form the basis of the composition in addition to poems and texts by Surrealist poets. In an attempt to position themselves in a confusingly complex world, they use a language full of imagery that the composition encounters with its own dynamics and drama. At the centre is Deo Gratias (1497), a canon for 24 voices by Johann Ockeghem, which was adapted by Titus Engel and is a polyphonic sound cathedral that praises God. The artificial, neverending polyphony leads to dizzying heights and – in bringing together all of the voices – reduces the orderliness of the canon to absurdity. Using the canon principle, Sergej Newski develops his own organisational and linguistic system.

Sergej Newski
Music theatre for six soloists and chamber choir (2008/11)
Based on texts by Gerd-Peter Eigner, Unica Zürn, Katja Rohde, Anton Charitonow and Artjom Pismenski
concert performance GP of the new version

Production Uhde & Harckensee MusikManagement, Sergej Newski and Titus Engel. In collaboration with Berliner Festspiele / MaerzMusik und Radialsystem V.