»A House of Call«

»I respond to what I hear.«

Some background to »A House of Call. My Imaginary Notebook« by Heiner Goebbels.

»I'm no virtuoso where big scores are concerned,« says Heiner Goebbels. Instead, he looks for ways of trying things out in direct dialogue with musicians. How apt, then, that the composer should choose to work with the experiment-loving Ensemble Modern Orchestra for his latest major project »A House of Call. My Imaginary Notebook«.

He has been working with the Frankfurt-based New Music specialists for decades now, and he met them several times while he was writing the new score. Composer and musicians approached the work together in so-called try-outs. »I don't know any other ensemble that offers the composer so many possibilities,« says Heiner Goebbels enthusiastically.

The proof of the pudding is in the eating! :Try-out with the Ensemble Modern Orchestra in May 2021.

Heiner Goebbels: »A House of Call. My Imaginary Notebook« :A work full of voices.

Heiner Goebbels is a true authority in contemporary music and known for his creative compositions where text, music and scenery merge into a unified whole. And his new, full-length work »A House of Call. My Imaginary Notebook« is a fascinating piece that transports the audience into the world of his memories.

The four-part score features all manner of voices that Goebbels encountered on his travels, which he collected over the years in an »imaginary notebook«. These come to life in their own languages and sounds. They swell into loud cries, or turn into intimate prayers or intense incantations. »It's up to the listener to imagine the people he hears here,« Goebbels explains. »Who is singing here? Why? What about?« So the end product depends on the individual's own experiences and longings: a trip to foreign parts, and to oneself.

Heiner Goebbels
Heiner Goebbels © Uroš Hočevar

»I hope that we can suddenly experience something individual, something we can make our own.«

Heiner Goebbels

»With a so-called ›acousmatic‹ voice, i.e. a voice whose source we don't see, I am interested in our wish to see it – a wish, however, that remains unfulfilled. This desire provides the most important potential for the imagination,« the composer explains in the interview. In other words, what one expects to see based on what one hears is missing; this is a decisive motif in his works of music theatre.

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