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The Sixth Annual SPECTRUM XXI Festival

Submitted by on 12 Jul 2012 – 11:30

Iancu DumitrescuBy Iancu Dumitrescu, Composer and Conductor, SPECTRUM XXI Festival, Romania

The sixth annual festival SPECTRUM XXI, which was held in November 2011, was unique in its scale, which was far greater than all the previous events, mainly due to an EACEA grant. Spectrum XXI 2011 presented sixteen concerts in four European capitals: Paris, London, Berlin and Bucharest. We had the opportunity to perform in some of the best musical venues: the Romanian Athenaeum in Bucharest, LSO St Luke’s Jerwood Hall in London, Le Centquatre in Paris.

Players from all over the world collaborated in the program under the “The Hyperion International Ensemble” label, which was the main ensemble involved in the festival. “Hyperion International” is a project in progress. For many years, it has gathered together artists from Romania, Bulgaria, France, UK, Germany, Venezuela, the United States, Israel and Canada under the baton of composers/conductors Avram and Dumitrescu, but also under other composers’ conducting. It is a well-established format for “Hyperion International” that many of the chosen composers are premiering their own works which they have presented to the ensemble for the first time, during workshops and rehearsals. The uniqueness of the ensemble is the reunion and bringing together of many creative artists, at the same time as composers and players, representing the very best in the experimental and contemporary music scene with, among them, some great soloists from around the world.

Concerning the programming, particularly relating to the European repertoire, the 2011 event was also the best represented yet: 35 European composers, 50 works – national and world premieres of contemporary/living composers.

The latest avantgarde trend in music, ”Spectralism is not an epiphenomenon, an accident, an odd eccentric point on the musical map, deprived of any consequences, but a vast ocean, fed by numerous rivers and brooks and increasingly vigorous. Besides, spectralism comes in Romania from a natural language, at an anthropological level, directly connected to the very acoustic base of the sound” (Harry Halbreich “Spectral music at the beginning of XXI century”). Extremely interesting Spectral music trends are present in France Italy, the UK, and Romania, but numerous artists all over the world are pursuing spectral tendencies and research in their creations. The aim of the SPECTRUM XXI festival is to promote the different tendencies, aspects, schools of composition, personalities related to spectralism, during concerts, conferences and workshops.

The promotion and valorisation of music using new media/ new technologies was also a priority in relation to spectral music, with about 30 works using computer assisted media, electronic or mixed music. Young composers were also in the spotlight of this event, with 15 artists under the age of 30 presenting world or national premieres.

Musicians co-operated during workshops, rehearsals and concerts, sharing their culture, knowledge, and differences. Composers had a unique opportunity to work with the ensemble and implement their experiments and sonic research, in a really challenging dialogue. The dialogue and co-operation was one of the main benefits for all of us, and in many different ways: dialogue between similar trends (in the frame of spectral music) in Europe, dialogue with different audiences from Paris, London, Berlin, Bucharest, every one with their specific and particular expectations, as well as dialogue within the team of artists. With collaborators coming from different artistic backgrounds – classical contemporary, experimental, improvised, new musics – this collaboration in a unique and integrational project represented a real enrichment for the music and musicians involved.

The Romanian Community of Electronic and Computer Assisted Music co-operated for this event with promoters from Paris (Association “Orgues et Musiques à Saint Merry”, “Les Rendez-vous Contemporains de Saint Merry”, “Le Balcon”, ARIAM-Ile-de France, “Le Centquatre” ) cultural structures from London (Barbican Centre, South Place Ethical Society, Resonance Projex) associations from Berlin (NK Projekt) and institutions in Bucharest (the Romanian Philharmonic).

We also realised audio and video recordings of all of the festival’s concerts, recently promoted by CD distribution, radio broadcastings and internet publishing, and therefore being able to reach a wide and diverse new audience.

The artists involved in this festival were as follows:

Hyperion International: Stephen O’Malley (electric guitar), Tzenka Dianova (piano) Maya Dunietz (flute, prepared piano, conducting,) Dorin Gliga (oboe), Yoni Silver (bass clarinet), Tim Hodgkinson ( clarinet, bass clarinet, conducting), Orban Godri ( bassooon), Tiberiu Cenuser, Emmanuel Vieru (trombones), Hagai Fershtman, Steve Noble, Alex Yonovic (percussion), Eran Sachs (no-input mixer, conducting), Raul Suarez (violin), Ioan-Marius Lacraru (viola), Andrei Kivu, Vasile Comsa, Clotilde Lacroix (cello), Adam Sheflan, Shmil Frankel (doublebass), conductors Iancu Dumitrescu and Ana-Maria Avram.

The Bergersen String Quartet – UK: Jonathan Truscott, Craig Stratton, Elisa Bergersen, Nicholas Allen.

Ensemble Gol – France: Samon Takahashi, Xavier Roux, Frédéric Rebotier, Jean-Marcel Busson.

Le Lieu d’un autre centre”- France: Fréderic Blondy-Diemo Schwarz.

During the sixteen concerts, the festival presented music by Ana-Maria Avram, Hervé Bailly-Basin, Thomas Bjelkeborn, Frédéric Blondy, John Cage, Costin Cazaban, Marek Choloniewski, Ianni Christou, Tzenka Dianova, James Dillon, Iancu Dumitrescu, Maya Dunietz, Sharon Gal, Paolo Girol, GOL, Annette Vande Gorne, Florian Hecker,  Tim Hodgkinson, Sami Klemola, Gyorgy Ligeti, Grzegorz Marciniak, Philippe Moenne-Loccoz, Stephen O’Malley, Musiques Nouvelles, Gérard Pape, Horatiu Radulescu, Eran Sachs, Giacinto Scelsi, Giselher Smekal, Michal Sostalo, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Samon Takahashi, Petru Teodorescu, Ronny Waernes, and Iannis Xenakis.