zum Inhalt springen zur Navigation springen

vertiginous pleasures of disconnection

RealTime issue #79 June-July 2007 pg. 40

jonathan marshall at the totally huge new music festival
... Austrian clarinet duo Petra Stump and Heinz-Peter Linshalm was one such highlight.

Seeing the work of the Libra Ensemble in Melbourne shortly afterwards, I was struck by the similar stylistic positioning of the groups in repertoire and approach, both emphasising what I call ‘limit modernism’ in their formal rigour, atonalism and rejection of American minimalism. Often one is left with a series of disconnected, spiky gestures, as well as tiny, timbrel motifs, squeals and small, isolated clusters, that reveal the best of both the conventional use of instruments as well as startling extended technique. Long sections of loud circular breathing punctuated Stump-Linshalm’s playing, while a particular joy was composer Vinko Globokar’s solo for bass clarinet without mouthpiece – a dazzling array of clatters, growls, tubular gasping sounds and tongued stutters, made all the more extraordinary by computer processing and reverb; almost a clarinet version of Kurt Schwitters’ famous concrete poetry work, The Ur-Sonata.

Generally this program was dense and busy, a collection of virtuoso moments and exchanges which, as in Beat Furrer’s piece, created an almost soundscape-like set of textures and a near phasing of elements, while the fracturing and fragmentation of each enunciation was rigorously maintained and counterpointed. From Magnus Lindberg’s overtly performative work (which opened with the ka-whomp of the bass drum before the duo chased each other around the space, mouthing phrases and finally taking up their clarinets) to Claudio Ambrosini’s (vaguely jazzy inflections crushed or held at bay, like a Gershwin piece that never coalesced into true rhythm), this was an invigorating concert which suggested how much noise and texture is still to be discovered within the clarinet.

As part of the festival conference on Sound and Image, Stump-Linshalm offered Christoph Herndler’s fabulous black and white film Streifund, der Blick (Gliding, a Glance) to which the duo played a see-sawing set of off-key tones and gaps with electronics, accompanied by close-up footage of a hand endlessly, painfully and lovingly rubbing every surface of an old, abandoned house—cobwebs, dust and paint falling from the fingers….

Totally Huge New Music Festival and Conference, Perth, April 20-May 6, www.tura.com.au/events/totallyhuge

lost in...