anordnen/verschieben (A Chamber Ballet) (2004)

Choreographer: Martin Nachbar

Instrumentation: 1 woodwind instrument (flute or clarinet), 1 brass instrument (french horn, trumpet or trombone), 1 percussionist, 2 string instruments (viola or violoncello and double bass)

Three Dancers

Publisher: Schott Music

Duration: 29 Minutes

FP: Dresden 7.10.2004

Further performances:
Chemnitz 10.10.04 (voxxx)
Leipzig 15.10.04 (Baumwollspinnerei)

Commissioned by the Saxonian Music Council


anordnen/verschieben is the result of a long thinking and working process. In January 2002 I was invited by the Berlin Academie of the Fine Arts to participate in the project Choreographers and Composers which joined each four choreographers and composers of the younger generation to work together improvisatory with a group of musicians and dancers. Already while preparing for this project from which I got many important impressions and ideas, I made plans to conceive a work for dancers and instrumentalists. With Martin Nachbar, I got acquainted with a choreographer whose artistic ideas provided many similarities to my own.

In developing the scores, separated and collective work alternated. The altogether form of seven sections, their relationship of durations (2 : 3 : 5 : 7 : 11 : 13 : 17) and the “themes” Improvisation – Elevation – Pathos – Solo – Points/Delay – Murmuring – Loops were determined in advance.
During several sessions that took place between February and October 2004, the sketches were first rehearsed and enhanced in parallel work with dancers and instrumentalists. Later, the musical and choreographical modules for the seven „themes“ were put together in asynchronous combinations – it had been our plan from the very beginning that the orders of the sections during the performances should be different in dance and music.

Nevertheless, there remains the option that corresponding sections meet partly or in total during performance. Thus, a network of planned and unplanned contrasts and relationships emerges. In addition to the intended musical and choreographical connotations to the „catchwords“, there might be also many other ways of perception and interpretation by the spectator. The concept aims at a density and intensity of communication between music and dance that is stronger than in most average classic and modern ballet scores.
The music, based on reduced, efficient improvisational instructions, demands for responsible and creative players. It contains both sections with clear and more complex gesture.

is – as in the dance score – a short moment of “total freedom” without any determination(!). Elevation tries, with fragile harmonics and extremely prolonged bow and breath, to trace and extend the weightlessness of dancers. Pathos is a dark, “heroic” tremolo with continuous dynamic changes. Solo not only is reduced to one single instrument, but also to scant gesture. Points/Delay is an intricate game of coordinated entries which may happen both precisely or wiggly, and long, tense pauses, with some more playful elements in between. Murmuring devotes a long time to develop a soundscape of rather monotonuous, sometimes even grinding linear sounds, like a stream of lava. Loops finally combines aspects from all the other parts with new material, it is the longest and most complex section, and also the only one, during which the five instrumentalists act individually. Each instrumental part consists of seven sections (three or four of them being pauses) that can be played in free order – in this way the formal concept of the entire piece is reflected again.