On Tuesday we travelled with Klangforum from Vienna to the Swiss border to play at the Bludenz Days of New Music. Bludenz is a little alpine town in the middle of its off-season. Not much going on, but a packed hall for local avantgarde composer Wolfram Schurig and some traditional korean music played by Kim Soyeon and Lee Sanggyeong.
Wolfram’s works were “..vom Gesang der Wasserspeier..” for Ensemble with a concertante Piano part and “blick:verzaubert” for Piano and string quartet. Both works used an elaborate microtonal language and complex, fluctuating rhyhms with plenty of silences. “..vom Gesang der Wasserspeier..” was stronger in contrast, often at the cusp of the audible, but also much more dense than “blick: verzaubert”. In fact, the slow music was often the clearest, with beautiful sounds emerging from the depth of the ensemble. “blick:verzaubert” was more transparent, and the underlying modular technique added up to crystalline and luminous work of chamber music.
Wolfram’s search for an own and very detailed language was evident from both works, but unfortunately the (beautifully printed) program notes, full of charts and some very abstract text, did nothing to help the listener to get closer to his music, which is essentially very poetic, detailed and subtle.
Kim Soyeon and Lee Sanggyeong were the two korean musicians who played a 40 minute set of Sanjo, a traditional type of corean music from the 19th century. It is performed by two instruments, a geomun’go (a long six-stringed instrument with very flexible pitches) and a Janggu (a double sided drum). The performance continued through slow, jazzy, lines, accelerating to a quicker and more rhythmic ending, played in poise and stillness by the two korean musicians.
Much credit and congratulations has to go to the Bludenz Days of Contemporary Music, for bringing Wolframs refined sound world to the Alps and for their ambitions. Over the next days, there will be more traditional Korean music and Ensemble Contrechamps with Michael Wendeberg will play music by Marc Sabat and Dietrich Eichmann.