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Brigitta Muntendorf

What would be important for you when curating a concert/festival?

When I’m curating concerts first of all I’m interested in creating a field of polarizations. The polarizations are evoked by the approaches and backgrounds of compositions/pieces, space/venue/country, performer/formation (what are the motivations to perform music?), frame of the performance and expected audience. No matter if I’m talking about an object or a subject – I have to „take care“ (that is the original meaning of „curating“) about the inherent stories of the stated bodies and develop propositions about this inherence in the present environment.

I’m an artist, so when I’m curating I define my artistic questions and create different context-related gateways, that all decisions within this field of polarizations have to pass. Passing or not passing – the more I have to seek, the more I explore the invisibility of reasons that are given, the more exciting curating gets. Curating is like composing – you never want to say with the material and setting you choose, what the material and setting says. You take the material and the setting and search for something behind or in-between. So that also means: Curating contemporary music is never about contemporary music. It’s about a thesis anchored in the field of contemporary music, that has to prove it’s validity in a general discourse of art.

So I believe that a curator has to be an artist in curating and not a curator of art.

Which skill, that you’ve learned by writing for an ensemble, helps you in everyday life?

Besides the technical skills that I received through the practical work, I learned that the most important part of my music occurs in the moment, when I as the composer make one step besides and listen to the performer, to the being or the body of an orchestra that is there in front of me. What does this special sound tell me? What does the way somebody breathes or moves the body tell me about my original idea of the music I wrote? I learned that a performer is like a director who occupies the piece. But because we don’t have very often the possibility to rehearse like a director rehearses with actors (here: the composer), the only chance to get some control about the result is, to know the performer, to work with him or her, to understand the stage presence of this person and to develop together and to implement these parameters as the performing material in the piece. Since I’m teaching I’m realizing, that for the students and also for me when I was studying, this term „working with a musician or performer“ is almost mystical, a big and strange thing. It would be great to built general structures in the ensemble work that allow us to turn this process of working and composing into an everyday life thing – besides the benefit for the composers and interpretations it gives another chance to find the mystery there.

What do you want to find out with your music?

I don’t want to find out, because there are no answers. Answers are only constructions. Through music I want to create these hybrid situations that I’ll never understand, because in music there’s nothing to understand, but to receive.

Of course – I can say, I want to explore the connections of artificiality and an (also created) artificial reality through transmedial work, through the connection of music and dance and music theatre. In this filed I want to explore different kind of formats and the possibilities that are offered by the club culture. I can say, that I’m focussing the next years on bigger stage productions to work with the term of collectives and communities in artistic settings.

But these are just the hollow bodies that are flexible and interchangeable – at this point I come back to the gateway, the filter – and for me, this is definitely about the handling of creation and perception of irresolvable (not unanswered) questions.


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