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NOCH FRAGEN? ANY QUESTIONS? – that is the ambiguous, slightly mischievous motto of the 24th installment of KLANGSPUREN. On the one hand rather than getting too comfortable with the existing situation the idea is to engage in an ongoing critical examination of new music in terms of its ties to reality and views of the world – especially in times of great insecurity and polarizing changes. At the same time the aim is to do something which ought to be perfectly natural but which still is not. The Festival shifts the coordinates of the gender balance to favor the musical work of women. When it comes to contemporary music, it is hard to overlook the clear and widespread asymmetry in the representation of female musicians, especially in the role of composers. And that, despite the fact that women often find especially striking forms of expression. It is not about numbers or quota systems but the natural manifestation of female creativity. This is the focus of KLANGSPUREN 2017, though of course without excluding the music of male artists – it is merely a matter of emphasis. This year Sofia Gubaidulina, the grand old dame of new music and perhaps the most prominent living female composer, has been enlisted as composer in residence at the Festival and KLANGSPUREN INTERNATIONAL ENSEMBLE MODERN ACADEMY. Since the 1960s the now 85-year-old artist of Russian-Tartar descent has been a formidable and unmistakable voice that is rooted in existential spirituality, one that transcends all conventions and is capable of moving listeners deeply. The program offers a broad panorama of salient musical positions including the text-voice performance any questions? by the Australian Chris Mann, who inspired this year’s festival motto, the Tyrolean debut of the Graz-based Schallfeld Ensemble, the South Tyrolean electronic trio dark matter’s large-scale project in conjunction with the ringing of the Innsbruck Cathedral bell, a homage to Joan La Barbara with a series of vocal performative premieres, and a cycle of five piano recitals culminating in Galina Ustvolskaya’s six furious piano sonatas. The unwearied can groove to a live set by the legendary sound performer and techno DJ Electric Indigo. Laurie Anderson – world-renowned for her performance art between storytelling, music, and images – will close the Festival with her poetic-critical interpretation of everyday madness in search of a future-oriented language.

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