the sound of the second hand clapping

cropped-ceiling_labor2803112© Johnny Chang

transcriptions translations interpretations of echtzeitmusik

What is echtzeitmusik? By which qualities is it characterized? What is the difference to other forms of musical activities?

One of the characteristics of echtzeitmusik seems to be the unity of the composer and the performer—the music is developed to be played by oneself. Echtzeitmusik is often created practically, it’s made by doing. There are often no notations. What happens if pieces of echtzeitmusik are transcribed, and find an interpretation by others?

The experimental arrangement might look like this: the creator transcribes the own recorded piece, or a core idea of the own way to improvise. This can be a conceptual text score, a graphic notation, a conventional notation as precise as possible, or any other form. This ‘score’ is then handed on to a musician or group to be interpreted.

Or an ensemble, a band, a soloist transcribes the recording of a piece of echtzeitmusik. The instrumentation might be rather different from the original. The transcription can be close to the original sounding result, or might rather find the core structures of creating the piece. Then these transcribers find their realisation of the transcription.

What do we learn about this form of musical activity when it’s handed on in written form? What happens when the music gets a new perspective through a transcription? Is it an interpretation, or a new musical piece on its own?

What do we get to know about the original through the second hand performance?

The Sound Of The Second Hand Clapping #1 — 18 February 2013
Annette Krebs (Berlin) interpreted the music of efzeg (Vienna).
Burkhard Stangl (Vienna) interpreted the CD Rotophormen by Annette Krebs & Andrea Neumann (Berlin).

6 May 2013 — Excursus transcription
Johnny Chang & Lee Noyes Having Never Been To Beirut

The Sound Of The Second Hand Clapping #2 — 23 September 2013
Sabine Ercklentz interpreted the music of Tisha Mukarji.
Theo Nabicht interpreted the music of Olaf Rupp.

The Sound Of The Second Hand Clapping #3 — 11 November 2013
Rebecca Lenton (picc.fl) & Alex Babel (crotales) re-interpreted a piece by Subroutine: Robin Hayward (tuba) & Morten J. Olsen (rotating bass drum), who played the original version as well.
Andrea Neumann transcribed the structure of her way of improvising into a text score and handed it on to Mario de Vega. Both Andrea and Mario played their versions of the very same text score.

The Sound Of The Second Hand Clapping #4 — 18 November 2013
The Still – Rico Repotente (g) & Derek Shirley (bs) & Steve Heather (dr) re-interpreted pieces by The International Nothing: Kai Fagaschinski (cl) & Michael Thieke (cl), who played the original versions as well.
Improvisation Museum: Øyvind Torvund and Splitter Group II (Burkhard Beins, Anat Cohavi, Kai Fagaschinski, Robin Hayward, Andrea Neumann, Ignaz Schick, and Mario de Vega). Special guest: Mathias Maschat.

16 December 2013 — Excursus translation
stille post [telephone]. the transformation of a song. An instruction by Christian Kesten
with Sven-Åke Johansson, Ariel Garcia, Els Vandeweyer, Margareth Kammerer, and Sebastiano Ciurcina.

[The series Labor Sonor in 2013 was funded by INM – initiative neue musik berlin]