VOM RAUSCH IM SCHWARM II.av (Pia Palme 2016)

an audiovisual work for ensemble
(fl. (bs.fl. + picc.), bs.cl., bar.sax., vl., vlc., d.b.)

with a text, video playback, electronic playback track
(4 channels and specific setup with 6 speakers)

Duration: 16 minutes

Composed for, and premiered by, SCHALLFELD ensemble,
18th January 2016, KUG University Graz, Austria.


About the piece: 

In this work, I frame the ensemble as a self-organising community. The conductor is replaced by a timeline display on a screen/i-phones (although of course, a conductor could indicate the necessary timing-signals, too). The performers occasionally whisper and murmur words; for some words they have to organise themselves into pairs/groups.

A wind machine or electronic track is added to the cast of performers. There is a playback track, an Ableton-patch, available.

The title is almost impossible to translate. I love the German word RAUSCH that can be translated as intoxication (as from wine, or dance, whatsoever) as well as noise (like from water or wind). An interesting and poetic juxtaposition of diverse meanings!

I draw on cultural-theorist Byung-Chul Han’s writings in my title. Han mentions noise and swarming in the context of the digital world, referring to emotional upheavals in social media. This relates to the structure/material of the composition, the text, and the video.

The video shows a personal cartography of Vienna. When I travel through the city to work, as a composer and performer, I am part of a swarm of human beings. I belong to the crowd, and together we perform a kind of swarming movement. The video brings in a personal layer of ‘Rausch im Schwarm’, it exposes my own identity as a swarm-being. I contribute to the overall noise in the city, as I travel.

There is no recording available, but the video can be watched here: