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David Tudor’s “Rainforest IV” at the closing of Berlin’s Singuhr’s Modular Music festival.

Singuhr, the Berlin gallery specialising in sound art, concludes its festival of “modular music” with a series of new interpretations of Rainforest IV, David Tudor’s piece composed in 1973, which will take place at St. Elisabeth’s Church in Berlin between Thursday 17 and Sunday 27 March. For the performance, a total of seven composers, experimental musicians and sound artists (Jessica Ekomane, Hanna Hartman, Robert Lippok, Zsolt Sörés, Ioana Vreme Moser, Michael Winter, Miki Yui) have been working together in a week-long rehearsal and composition phase, reinterpreting Tudor’s piece. Canadian composer Matt Rogalsky, one of the most experienced Tudor specialists, has been commissioned to conduct, together with Cologne composer Hans W. Koch, the world premiere of this iteration of the composition.

Found, transformed or constructed objects are arranged as an ensemble in a spatial installation. Transducers placed on the objects allow the performers to activate them with sounds of their own choosing, with the aim of creating, in Tudor’s words, “an electronic ecosystem”. Due to the specific resonance frequencies of each object, each one is a kind of unique loudspeaker that favours certain tones. The composition, the selection of objects and the arrangement in space create a lush and freely accessible “jungle” of sounds that arise from the things of everyday life.

Along with John Cage, David Tudor was one of the central figures of the American music scene in the second half of the 20th century. His importance in the development of experimental music, whether as a performer, composer, performer or pioneer of live electronics, is unquestionable. This project was conceived twenty-five years after his death – in 1996 – not only as a tribute to the musician and composer, but also focuses primarily on the potential that still resides in Rainforest as a compositional platform. The participating artists have backgrounds in a wide range of genres: classically trained composers such as the Swedish Hanna Hartman and the American Michael Winter; sound and media artists such as the Japanese Miki Yui, the Hungarian musician Zsolt Sörés and the young Romanian artist Ioana Vreme Moser, as well as artists from the field of electronic and experimental music such as the French sound artist Jessica Ekomane or the Berliner Robert Lippok, former member of the band to rococo rot, have worked together, enabling a kind of collaboration that goes beyond the boundaries of the scene, in a totally unaccustomed environment for all involved.

© Photograph by Roman März, downloaded from Singuhr’s website.