AUT bringer ACM + Joe Snape til Aarhus og Kbh

Det britiske ensemble ACM gæster Aarhus og København. SNYK har talt med een af de fire fremadstormende komponister, der er på programmet: Joe Snape.

Af Jan Høgh Stricker

AUT - Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere præsenterer ved to koncerter i Danmark det manchesterbaserede, eksperimenterende ensemble ACM, som bl.a. skal fremføre et helt nyt værk af den unge komponist Joe Snape.

Snapes 45 minutter lange Fleck, Flob, Flob for kammerensemble, elektronik og live projiceret tekst er en historie om en gammel dame, hendes syge mand og deres logerende, som væves sammen i en spændende sonisk fortælling om kærlighed, død og mangfoldighed. Xylofoniske melodier, lo-fi synthesisers og et kaleidoskop af mærkværdig kontrapunktisk post-pop.

SNYK har lavet et interview med den britiske komponist om hans arbejde med sit første længere værk, der har dansk premiere på Spanien 19B i Århus d. 19. juni og efterfølgende opføres på Mayhem i København d. 20 juni.

You have written an hour-long piece called Fleck Flob Flop – can we expect a regular symphony?

JS: Not quite! (Although I love regular symphonies). Fleck Flob Flop is more like a patchwork of delicate little stories held together by odd chamber music and sound recordings. ACM and I use the word ‘post-pop’ to describe what we’re doing: music with all the fun and accessibility of the songs we love and grew up listening to, but pushed and stretched into the odd, art-music shapes we adore.

The piece is very much about storytelling with text, too, and in this sense, it’s like a film script that, rather than making it into the cinema, took a strange turn and ended up as a warped, unsung song cycle: think Schubert meets The Books multiplied by that heartbreaking children’s book for adults that Samuel Beckett never wrote, plus all of the MIDI keyboards in Denmark. If you can’t imagine quite what such a thing might be, come and see what it’s really like for yourself!

This is your first big piece – how did it come about?

I’ve done a few things in the past that push the 30-minute mark, but to double that length was a new kind of challenge; mostly in terms of sustaining musical and narrative interest. In a small way, I’m cheating: it’s a big piece that’s made up of fifteen smaller ones: each comes in at something between 2 to 10 minutes, and it’s to the ensemble’s credit that this works; ACM play with lots of energy and a fantastic commitment to the music. I think this has to do with the way that we developed the piece together: by doing workshops on it at various stages over the last half year, ACM has really come to own the piece. To do it with any other ensemble at this point would be totally odd: like setting up a covers band…

How has the first leg of the tour been?

It’s been an amazing experience so far; the audiences in the UK were so keen and welcoming, and there have been lots of encouraging words from many different corners of the Internet: we’re grateful for it all. Perhaps the best thing about it so far is realizing that it’s actually possible to pull something like this off in a sustainable way. It’s a tricky time to be a musician,but it seems like people are hungry to hear and see unusual things played by people that really care about it, and this was a wonderful surprise to ACM and me alike.

What has it been working with Another Contemporary Music Ensemble (ACM) on Fleck?

ACM, which is an experimental music group from Manchester run by Michael Cutting and Vitalija Glovackyte, has been an absolute pleasure to work with. The scale of this project – commissioning and writing loads of new pieces for nine concerts in Europe, as well as putting out a record on the Manchester label Ono – is the biggest thing they or I have ever done, and it’s safe to say that neither of us would have been able to do it alone! But the project is also bigger than just us: together on the tour, we’ve been working with many of our favorite emerging artists.

For our European shows, for example, we’ve commissioned work from Genevieve Murphy, an artist based in Amsterdam; a pair of new pieces from Laurie Tompkins, who lives in Berlin; and an exciting live Hörspiel by our Danish collaborator Kaj Duncan David. All three are quite different pieces, but they have one thing in common: they’re strange, adventurous and generous, and the music is thoughtful, colorful and warm. Right now, this is what we’re really interested in: it’s a super exciting time.

Koncertens anden halvdel byder på værker fra ACM-lederne Vitalija Glovackyte og Michael Cutting: to ideosynkratiske musikalske historier med genspejlinger af Fleck, Flob, Flop. Den danske komponist Kaj Duncan David er programmets sidste navn. Han bidrager med et nyt værk, bestilt af ACM specielt til lejligheden: en psykedelisk fortælling om en morgen efter en nat tilbragt i vildskabens tegn.

AUT præsenterer ACM + Joe Snape: FLECK
Spanien 19B i Århus d. 19. juni

Mayhem i København d. 20 juni.

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