Ideas made irregular

Mathias Spahlinger talks about composer Hans Wüthrich

Bernd Künzig, Mathias Spahlinger
The Donaueschinger Musiktage 2009 saw the creation of etudes for orchestra without conductor, by Matthias Spahlinger, entitled doppelt bejaht («twice approved»). This inhabitual work, lasting several hours, where the orchestra mainly organises itself through given instructions, is dedicated to the Swiss composer Hans Wüthrich. And not without reason. He also had composed a three part orchestral piece in the 1980’s, Netzwerk, which does not require a conductor. The almost proverbial disempowerment of the conductor, and the symbolic liberation of the members of the orchestra had a profound political background, which, for a critical and political composer such as Spahlinger, has remained up to this day a model of contestation and questioning. At the core of Wüthrich’s work lie conceptual reflections which tackle possibilities of communication available to contemporary music. For Spahlinger Wüthrich’s work is an outstanding model of New Music, unfortunately greatly overlooked and underestimated. Spahlinger gives here insights on his fundamental engagement with Wüthrich’s work, which he himself sees as the exposition of the background which truly made the so called new music become New Music, with capital letters. The following «detour» into the project of Wüthrich, in its now achieved and written form, is based on a discussion with Bernd Künzig, given in the series «Composer’s composer» on SWR2.

by moxi