Rofu, Manta Mantra

Rofu, Manta Mantra

Makrokosmos Quartet

Label: Ronin Rhythm Records
Format: CD
Barcode: 0610098165095
Catalog number: RON 024
Releasedate: 07-08-20
- 2 works for 2 pianos and 2 percussionists by Nik Bärtsch
- „The Makrokosmos Quartet opens unusual horizons...“ Le Temps (CH)
ROFU is a musical ritual for two pianos and percussion, written in 2012 and commissioned by the Makrokosmos Quartet, which is especially interested in performing new pieces. The premier was at the Dampfzentrale Bern at the festival “Morton Feldman – long music” in 2012. This context and the interest of the Makrokosmos Quartet in my music was a chance to write pure chamber music for an ensemble which was not my own. This led me to a different way of interpreting my own background and musical development, focusing more on completely written out music - and reflecting this tradition and process at the same time. Igor Strawinsky once said when asked about the meaning of words in relation to music: "Sometimes I feel like those old men Gulliver met on the trip to Laputa: They renounced language and tried to communicate with objects. A composer is always in this position because he has no verbal control over his music. The only real comment on a piece of music is another piece of music." MANTA MANTRA is another work for almost the same instrumentation. It was commissioned by the young Ensemble New4Art in 2014. I saw a film about a huge manta ray floating peacefully in the pure blue of the sea in two different speeds, seen from below together with the broken sunlight. This inspired the piece. Later I found in the graphic novel “Superman” by Gion Capeder a wonderful similar sequence, which is seen on the cover.
The Makrokosmos Quartet is a Swiss quartet based in Geneva, Switzerland. The group takes its name from the eponymous music of George Crumb, itself conjuring up the magical possibilities of such an instrumental line-up. Alongside the great classic masterworks of the genre - the Sonata for 2 pianos and percussion by Béla Bartók; Le Sacre du Printemps by Igor Stravinsky and Music for a Summer Evening - Makrokosmos III by George Crumb, the Makrokosmos Quartet continues to forge its own new identity working hand-in-hand with composers in exploring the instrumental format of 2 pianos + 2 percussions to create a new voice and a new music for the 21st century. From its inception, Makrokosmos has commissioned and performed many works by the world’s leading composers such as Luciano Berio, Ivan Fedele, Stefano Gervasoni, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, Enno Poppe, Steve Reich & Wolfgang Rihm. Furthermore, the quartet has also widened its repertoire by commissioning other composers like the Swiss Nik Bärtsch to reach even wider audiences. Among their collaborations we can find different orchestras, choirs and ensembles such us Ensemble Contrechamps, the RIAS Kammerchor Berlin, l'Orchestre de Chambre de Geneve or recently the Spanish dancer Andrés Marín. Makrokosmos has played at many of the world’s leading festivals and venues including Festival Archipel Genéve, Witten Tage für Neue Musik, Hong Kong MUSE, Suntory Hall Contemporary Festival-Tokyo, Saint Petersburg Contemporary music Festival, Philharmonie Berlin or Festival Istanbul. The quartet has been broadcast on radio worldwide and has several highly acclaimed CDs including 'Magical worlds of Sound' (Crumb, Gervasoni Haas) & 'Round Midnight' inspired by Thelonius Monk (Schneller, Gregorio, Ferrero & Stefan Wirth ).