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America, Asia, Europe
The New Sound Experience
20.01.2004 12:00
Zitty, inm, Neue Zeitschrift für Musik
transonic 2004 focuses on the contrasts between composition and improvisation and between solo and ensemble music. While transonic 2003 concentrated on Asian and Western music, in 2004 musicians and composers from the Arabic world will also take part, along with an Argentinean composer.

Conceived as a production forum and a place for experimentation, the goal of transonic is to explore the phenomenon of new and experimental music in non-Western cultures. What happens when new and/or experimental music comes into contact with traditional musical cultures that have gone on apparently unchanged over centuries or even millennia?

By commissioning productions, transonic enables collaboration between Western and non-Western musical artists with traditional or experimental backgrounds. The concerts in the series document current developments in the musical scene, without, however, laying down categories such as New Music, jazz or world music. The result is not fusion, but highly nuanced encounters between forms of composition and improvisation that have developed over time (such as the Japanese court music Gagaku) and very individual contemporary approaches.

transonic calls into question the dominance of the universalist Western avant-garde, inspired by a vision of globalization as a constant process of exchange and mutual discovery.

The transonic festival was initiated by the House of World Cultures. Under the directorship of Johannes Odenthal, Gene Coleman has acted as curator in 2003 and 2004.

The Internet Forum

In cooperation with the Society for New Music, the House of World Cultures will be hosting a new Internet forum. Starting on December 6, 2003, it will open a discussion about issues of new music and globalization on the website of the House of World Cultures. Prominent musicians, composers, musicologists and critics will be asked to submit statements on the following question.

“New music aims at being global and free of borders. But isn’t it Eurocentric by concept and blind to the non-European world?” is the question we will discuss within this forum. Our goal is to include a wide range of composers, musicians, musicologists, critics and music-lovers in this discussion.

Invited to participate are: Daniel Barenboim, Wolfgang Rihm, Kent Nagano, Udo Zimmermann, Heiner Goebbels, Walter-Wolfgang Sparrer, Dieter Mack, Jens Cording, Christian Utz, Matthias Osterwold, Sandeep Bhagwati, Klaus Hinrich Stahmer, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Manfred Stahnke, Mauricio Kagel and Hans-Peter Jahn.

The forum is moderated, and will open on December 6, 2003 on the Internet with three theses by three experts. The experts will be asked in advance to formulate these three theses and discuss them among themselves for a period of two months after the online start (until the end of February).