Composer Peter Ablinger and Chicago-based new music group Fonema Consort will delve together into an array of meanings of the human voice that preoccupy both parties – a clash of artistic worlds having in common the challenge of performative and perceptual notions in music. With Fonema, the sexagenarian composer – one whose creative output intersects the modernist and conceptual, performative and technological – will expand one of his iconic artistic undertakings, “Voices and Piano” by premiering two new movements based on the voices of Diamanda Galas and George Bataille; and will create a new piece for the ensemble, drawing from previous reflections on the meaning of song.
The soundscape of cities are songs in his Cityopera; recordings of speeches by iconic 20th century personalities are songs in his "song cycle of sorts" “Voices and Piano”; and in his “Weiss/Weisslich 17” (2015) for soprano and noise, the singer takes on an instrumental role, only uttering sustained notes of various durations against morphing backgrounds of white noise. The “Weiss/Weisslich” series explores noise as a source of massive information upon which the listener can extract or carve their own "song."
The project is made possible with the generous support of the Goethe Institut, the Richard and Mary L. Gray Center for Arts and Inquiry, and the Amphion Foundation.