Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern

Black on White

Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue

The legendary pioneering work in the aesthetics of absence from an avant-garde composer and leading music ensemble

Making his long-awaited debut at Kyoto Experiment, Heiner Goebbels is a German composer who started his acclaimed career in the 1980s. Written especially for the leading chamber orchestra Ensemble Modern, Black on White is one of his signature works and has been performed at international festivals all over the world.

The sound of a pen writing on paper overlaps with that of a text being read. The musicians come on stage. As they prepare their instruments, some write while others make sounds. The performance begins with the creation of this installation-like space, which suddenly transforms into a concert. The musicians play a variety of pieces ranging from contemporary classical to jazz, black and religious music. A rich soundscape emerges, mixing the music of the instruments with all manner of other choreographed noises such as a tennis ball with a bass drum, a flute with a kettle, and recitation of texts.

This tapestry of sounds invites the audience to find their interests and themselves within what they see and hear. The “center” of the performance is absent, while the center is simultaneously also the dead who are not on stage. As such, the performance utilizes the voice of the important East German playwright Heiner Müller reading from the novel Shadow by Edgar Allan Poe. For Goebbels, who composed music for Müller’s plays, this serves as a kind of in-joke as well as a requiem for his late collaborator.

Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue Heiner Goebbels & Ensemble Modern, Black on White, 2017, Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza. Photo by Yoshikazu Inoue
YEAR
2017
DATES
10.27(Fri)-10.28(Sat)
VENUE
Kyoto Art Theater Shunjuza
DURATION
80min.
LANGUAGE
Multilingual performance with Japanese and English surtitles
CITY
Frankfurt, Germany
CATEGORY

Heiner Goebbels

www.heinergoebbels.com

A composer and director, Heiner Goebbels was born in 1952 and is based in Frankfurt am Main. At university he majored in sociology and music. His work includes music theater as well as compositions for concert recital, radio, ensembles and large-scale orchestras. From the 1990s he has composed and directed an original style of “music theater,” including Black on White (1996) for Ensemble Modern. His work has been performed to great acclaim at major international festivals. His other output includes a stint with an experimental rock group, Cassiber, as well as installations for many art exhibitions and museums such as the Centre Pompidou Paris. He is currently a professor at the Institute for Applied Theatre Studies of the Justus Liebig University in Giessen and President of Theatre Academy Hessen. He is also the recipient of numerous international accolades for his work, including two Grammy Award nominations, the International Ibsen Award 2012, and an honorary doctorate from Birmingham City University.

Ensemble Modern

www.ensemble-modern.com

www.facebook.de/EnsembleModern

Founded in 1980 the Ensemble Modern is one of the world’s leading ensembles for contemporary music. Currently, the Ensemble unites 20 soloists from ten countries, all of whom contribute to the ensemble’s rich cultural background. Resident in Frankfurt am Main, the Ensemble is famous for its special organisational structure. There is no artistic director, all members are responsible for jointly selecting and implementing projects, co-productions and financial matters. Its unique and distinctive programme includes musical theatre, dance and video projects, chamber music, ensemble and orchestral concerts. Ensemble Modern gives approximately 100 concerts each year at renowned festivals, such as the Salzburg Festival, Musikfest Berlin, Lincoln Center Festival (New York), Festival d’Automne à Paris, Lucerne Festival, as well as outstanding venues worldwide, such as Cologne’s Philharmonie, Konzerthaus Berlin and Philharmonie Essen. The ensemble strives to achieve the highest possible degree of authenticity by working closely with composers. Its work is characterised by long-term cooperative ventures with renowned artists, such as John Adams, Heiner Goebbels, György Kurtág, György Ligeti, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Steve Reich and Frank Zappa. Many of the ensemble’s CD recordings have won ECHO Awards and the Prize of the German Record Critics, as well as had several Grammy nominations. Ensemble Modern was declared a ›Leuchtturm‹ or ›beacon‹ of contemporary culture in Germany in 2003 by the German Federal Cultural Foundation.

Conceived, composed and directed byHeiner Goebbels
Set and light designJean Kalman
Costume designJasmin Andreae
Sound engineerNorbert Ommer
Assistants to the directorStephan Buchberger
Production managerMichael K. Schmidt
Master electricianFrank Kraus
Lighting technicianHolger Kress
Stage managerMarcel Heyde
Set assistantThorsten Knöss
Sound technicianVolker Bernhart
Costume assistantJanina Baldhuber
Cast (Ensemble Modern) Dietmar Wiesner (piccolo, bass flute)
Catherine Miliken (oboe, digeridoo, vocals)
Roland Diry (clarinet)
Mathias Stich (contrabass clarinet, saxophone)
Barbara Kehrig (bassoon)
Saar Berger (horn)
William Forman (trumpet)
Uwe Dierksen (trombone)
Hermann Kretzschmar (accordion, sampler, cimbalom)
Ueli Wiget (clavichord, harp)
Rumi Ogawa (cimbalom, percussion, speaker)
Rainer Römer (percussion)
Jagdish Mistry (violin)
Swantje Tessmann (violin)
Freya Ritts-Kirby (viola, vocals)
Eva Böcker (cello)
Michael M. Kasper (cello)
Joachim Tinnefeld (double bass, electric bass)
Kyoto Experiment Staff
Surtitle translation, operationMika Eglinton
Stage managerSo Ozaki(Kyoto Experiment)
Stage manager assistantKyoka Arisawa(Kyoto Experiment), Midori Koyama(Kyoto Experiment)
Sound chiefAyumu Okubo (KWAT)
Light chiefKosuke Ashidano (Ryu)
Surtitle ProjectionMaya Kawasaki
Flyer designKazuya Kondo
Production coordinatorMiho Kawahara(Kyoto Performing Arts Center), Juliet Reiko Knapp(Kyoto Experiment)
Intern staffAsahi Obata, Takanori Goto, Haruka Noda
In co-operation withKyoto City University of Arts, Faculty of Music, Goethe-Institut Villa Kamogawa
Supported bythe Agency for Cultural Affairs, Govern-ment of Japan in the fiscal 2017
Presented byKyoto Experiment, Kyoto Performing Arts Center at Kyoto University of Art and Design
Words byEdgar Allan Poe Shadow - A Parable T.S. Eliot / John Webster That Corpse from The Wasteland Maurice Blanchot L'Attente, L'Oubli