Oh Mensch »Salut für Caudwell«

»The typical aura that attaches itself to the guitar as a folk and art instrument encompasses the primitive as well as the highly sensitive, intimate, and collective.« –Helmut Lachenmann

»…It also includes motives that may be exactly described in historic, geographic, and sociological terms. I started from the characteristic playing style of the guitar, simplifying it in technical fingering, but also reforming and developing it, often beyond the limits imposed by practice centering on that aura. I constantly had the feeling that this music was »accompanying« something – if not a text, then individual words or thoughts. This is reflected by the incorporation of spoken text derived from Illusion and Reality by the English Marxist poet and author Christopher Caudwell, who died in Spain in 1937 among those attempting to halt the Franco regime. Caudwell demanded an art that realistically confronted reality and its multilayered contradictions. This piece is dedicated to him and to all the outsiders who, because they disturb thoughtlessness, are instantly lumped together with iconoclasts.« [Helmut Lachenmann]

Taking Lachenmann’s masterpiece as a starting point, Oh Mensch focuses on contemporary repertoire for two acoustic guitars, with a specific interest in works that incorporate a physical/theatrical approach to the instrument and/or exploring the microtonal potential of the instrument through re- or de-tuning.