Kein Wiegenlied (2014)
for flute, tenor sax, violin, electronics and music boxes and tweve tune music box-o-phon
Erik Drescher, flute
Meriel Price, saxophone
Maria da Rocha, violin
Sofia Borges, percussion, music box-o-phon
Andre Bartetzki, electronics
Video recording of the premiere at Acker Stadt Palast Berlin
by Ben Mergelsberg and Jan Middendorp
Kein Wiegenlied was composed for the concert „DE/PT – As Coisas und andere Dinge“, celebrating the 40 years on the Portuguese Carnation revolution. This piece is formed by blocks each one making use of Portuguese revolutionary songs and lullabies of that period. Each one of those melodies was deconstructed in very different ways so each block is different from the other. Between the blocks there is some kind of refrain repeating 3 times the note E. This is a citation of the revolutionary song „Acordai“ from Fernando Lopes-Graça, which in the recent years have been again used in several protests throughout Portugal.
Programe Notes (premiere 21.05.2014):
25th of April
This is the dawn I was waiting for
The first day whole and pure
Where we emerged from night and silence
And free we inhabit the substance of time.
Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen “O Nome das Coisas” 1977
1. After Sophia de Mello Breyner Andresen’s poem, the expression “the first day whole and pure” is used in Portugal as a metaphor for the Carnation Revolution as well as for political decisions that strengthen democracy, civil and human rights. The use of this expression also generated its opposite: “neither a whole or a pure day”, referring to injustice or corruption in political decisions.
2. For a few years the chorus piece Acordai (“Wake Up”) of Fernando Lopes-Graça have been used in Portugal as a protest song. These two metaphors describe a state where freedom is limited or inexistent (night, sleep) and a transition to freedom (dawn, day, awakeness). Kein Wiegenlied is neither a lullaby or a protest song but makes use of programmatic elements which contain similar dualities as the two examples.
Music boxes, cow bells, the harmonic content of Portuguese lullabies, citations of Puccini and Fernando Lopes-Graça are some of the materials I rearranged to achieve a diverse pallete of atmospheres. For the instrumental writing I chose mostly the same register as the human voice. Because on one hand lullabies are mainly to be sung, and on the other hand, the evocation of the human voice establishes again a metaphor as those described above.