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Motor Tapes

Ensemble Dedalus plays music by Sarah Hennies (WP) and Brian Eno

Tue 08 August 2023, 19.30


Sarah Hennies: Motor Tapes (2022/23, WP)

Brian Eno: Music for Airports (1978)

Ensemble Dedalus

Is the sometimes extremely hectic, confusing, seemingly always the same and yet erratic hustle and bustle at large airports to be connected with the constant repetitive loops that determine our human existence: Walking, sleeping, waking, working, breathing, blinking, heartbeat, etc.? Where do sounds come from that we suddenly hear inside us? US composer Sarah Hennies draws inspiration for her new piece Motor Tapes from findings by neuroscientists Oliver Sacks and Rodolfo Llinás. The latter speaks of “motor tapes” in connection with our motoric memory and compares it with neuronal processes underlying human creativity. He claims that creativity is not a rational process, but is based on constantly “running” neural pathways (like tape loops) and “snippets of motor patterns” that act “as a continuous, random, motor pattern noise generator.”

Brian Eno created a whole new genre in the late 1970s with his constantly overlapping tape loops, the so called Ambient Music. Ambient, minimal and at the same time experimental music by Tom Johnson, Philip Glass, Moondog, Frederic Rzewski, Luc Ferrari and Phil Niblock or more recently Catherine Lamb, Sébastien Roux or Pascale Criton have always fascinated the Toulouse-based ensemble Dedalus, founded by the guitarist Didier Aschour in 1996. And so it comes as no surprise that Dedalus is making its overdue debut at the Summer Course with precisely this evocative music by Brian Eno and Sarah Hennies – their hour-long piece Motor Tapes is receiving its world premiere in Darmstadt.

With the friendly support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation