ascending in front of the void

(for flute, bassoon, violin, cello and electronics)

…is a piece that tries to explore the Negev Desert. The basis of the musical composition marks Norah Inbar’s text „The Voice Archive“, in which the desert is considered as a space where voices of the present and of the past are memorized. A space where time leaves its various traces that can be rediscovered as an archive of history („…that some man or woman put their feet in the traces of time and they will fit and slowly the memory returns and with it what that has been lost“).
Due to the pandemic situation it was not possible for me to travel to Israel, which means I couldn’t visit the Negev Desert in person. This brought me to the challenging point of dealing with a place I had never experienced by myself. Field recordings and photos as a very distant connection to the place became my companions in the process of composing. My own personal experience of the place remained as an absent piece of the puzzle.
Normally, when I compose a piece dealing with a certain place I would describe the process as a development not only about, but together WITH a place. Therefore I spend quite a long time at the place just sitting in different spots, walking around, observing, watching and listening. Every place can emerge as a microcosm of details that can be discovered by a careful listening. Or how Murray Schafer framed it once in an interview: „In a way the world is a huge composition, a huge musical composition, that is going on all the time. Without a beginning a presumably without an ending. We are the composers of this huge miraculous composition that is going on around us and we can improve it or we can destroy it.“

Ensemble hand werk und Meitar Ensemble, Feuerwache Köln

Within the piece „ascending in front of the void“ I describe my personal (sound) imaginations of the Negev Desert: A quiet place, that appears from the distance as if everything remains nearly static. A mobility only recognizable in a microscopic observation. Grains of sand in layers that are only gradually skimmed by the wind. Shadows as traces of preceding movements. Shades of colours of a dense range, subtle colour change. A seemingly void, an invisible or almost unnoticeable activity. A storage of past and present.

Premiere: September 2021, Köln, Alte Feuerwache, Ensemble hand werk und Meitar Ensemble

Wiederaufführung: Dezember 2021, Tel Aviv, @ CEME Festival, Meitar Ensemble