Splitter Orchester – MärzMusik 2014

17h March 2014
19h00, Museum für Naturkunde
22h00 Langenbeck-Virchow-Haus

What is nature, what is culture and what is the difference between the two?

Composer Øyvind Torvund, a guest of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program in 2013, focuses on one of the most primal sound categories, exploring phrases and melodies of animal voices. During his stay in Berlin, Torvund worked with the 24 composer/performers of Berlin-based Splitter Orchester for his new work, “Constructing Jungle Books”. The work emerging from this close collaboration will have its world premiere at the Museum für Naturkunde as part of the MaerzMusik festival. For his composition, Torvund uses recordings from the comprehensive animal sounds archive at the Museum für Naturkunde as well as recordings from the everyday world surrounding us. Together with musicians from the Splitter Orchester, he explores the principle of imitation. On a trail through the Museum’s exhibition rooms, the concert visitors encounter sounds that play with the fascinating and bemusing dialectic of nature and culture.

In the second part of the evening’s programme the Splitter Orchester presents a collective original composition with free improvisation at its base. Specifically developed during rehearsals, Splitter Orchester’s compositions are structured improvisations with compositional elements. In addition to modifications that evolve organically, surprising musical turns always take place that are collectively captured and further developed. The title of the “Splitters and Lumpers” composition is borrowed from classification schemes in the natural sciences and refers symbolically to the categorization, examination and (re)production of sounds and sound objects. The musical structure of “Splitters and Lumpers” allows the audience to hear how a large ensemble without a conductor seems effortlessly to succeed in bundling 23 different artistic positions into a complete organic sound, which, in turn, represents a sonic category that is difficult to define. The diversity of sounds to be heard would delight any musical taxonomist and keep him/her busy for a long time.

Splitter Orchester is:  Liz Allbee, Boris Baltschun, Burkhard Beins, Anthea Caddy, Anat Cohavi, Werner Dafeldecker, Mario de Vega, Axel Dörner, Kai Fagaschinski, Robin Hayward, Steve Heather, Chris Heenan, Hilary Jeffery, Matthias Müller, Andrea Neuman, Morten J. Olsen, Simon James Phillips, Ignaz Schick, Michael Thieke, Clayton Thomas, Sabine Vogel, Biliana Voutchkova, Marta Zapparoli.

A production of ausland / projekt archiv e.V., Berliner Künstlerprogramm des DAAD, Berliner Festspiele / MaerzMusik and Borealis Festival Bergen. In collaboration with Museum für Naturkunde Berlin. Funded by means of the Capital Cultural Fund. With the support of Technical University Berlin – Audio Communication Group – Electronic Studio

Splitter Orchester

Official Website + Soundcloud

The Splitter Orchester, founded in 2010, is a Berlin-based collection of internationally respected Composer-Performers which draws inspiration from many genres, most noticibly contemporary/improvised music. Splitter Orchester originates from the “Echtzeitmusik” scene, which emerged in Berlin in the mid-1990s – a locally based and globally networked experimental music scene and long-term platform for the exchange of artistic ideas.

All members of the orchestra are simultaneously composers, interpreters and improvisers that collectively elude clear classification – an ensemble most comfortable in the creative borderland between composed and improvised music. They utilize a broad variety of extended techniques on traditional, electronic, and especially constructed/tailored instruments. The main focus in their artistic practice is the production of sound (as opposed to musical material) and on how to diffuse it in space. The collaborative nature of musical creation within a Composer-Performer context is integral – from the first sketch to the performance.

Photo: Kai Beinert