Das Meisterwerk – The Masterpiece
About the work
Is Das Meisterwerk / The Masterpiece a masterpiece? What is a masterpiece, anyway? A masterpiece is usually considered to be ahead of its time, foreseeing and anticipating certain cultural developments. In order to be able to accomplish that, the present has first to be observed and reflected upon.
Art in Modernism is largely autonomous and has been liberated from a direct specific purpose. Therefore, it seemed particularly adequate to describe social conditions in a condensed form. It can be assumed that art’s social function could and can be found in descriptions of the present and, even though less frequently, in anticipation of future social conditions. That can be said for the theory – the reality in music seems to appear quite differently.
Let’s assume that New Music would predominantly produce “naïve” music. The meaning of naïve being here, that New Music uses the freedom achieved in postmodernism in a naïve way instead of embedding it reflectively. (Postmodernism’s biggest subsequent problem is its handling of freedom, not only in arts. The naïve way in which freedom is handled could easily be used to describe many global hot spots.)
But what would happen if unexpectedly a “masterpiece” would be composed? Would it emerge out of the fog of the “naïve” New Music and shine all in its lonesome? That would hardly happen – “naïve” music’s indifference equally captivates the (potential) difference of a “reflective” piece of art. There is little chance of a masterpiece being created in the current state of New Music – or only as a “naïve” masterpiece. As a masterpiece acting like a masterpiece. Whereas in fact, it is a bogus masterpiece.
By looking at which masterpieces are declared as such it becomes apparent on which differentiation our culture focuses on. If a bogus masterpiece would be elevated to the status of a masterpiece, bogus (or simulation) would become our new leading difference. But is a simulation able to speak, or can only an original do that?
By the way: The constant changing of the name already shows the problem of freedom. In the past, New Music was called “new” because one could expect something “new”. The name “New Music” includes a compositional programme. During the postmodern era, the name “New Music” was criticised; the terms “contemporary” or “current” music were favoured. There was a reason for this: The logic of advancements regarding materials came to a standstill; subsequently, nothing “new” could be expected anymore.
The insecurity regarding the naming is reflective of the insecurity left behind by the postmodern freedom.
19.4.2012, Union Hall of composers, Kiew, Ukraine.
21.4.2012, 2D2N Festival Odessa, Ukraine. Jürg Henneberger, Piano, Dirk Amrein, Posaune
17. Dezember 2010, 20 Uhr, Gare Du Nord, Basel
12. Januar 2011, 20 Uhr, Theater Rigiblick, Zürich
Dirk Amrein, Posaune
Maurizio Grandinetti, Gitarre
Jürg Henneberger, Klavier
Werke von Marc Yeats (UA), Patrick Frank, Paul Dolden, Johannes Maria Staud, Boonrut Sirittanapan (UA)
6. Juli 2010, SEGI College Jaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
7. Juli, noblaticki, Jazzclub, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
8. + 9. Juli, University Teknologi MARA, Kuala Lumpur,
12. Juli, School of Arts, University Sains, Penang, Malaysia.
13.-17. Juli, International Thailand Composition Festival.
7. September 2010, Museo Republica Rio de Janeiro, 12.00 Uhr.
10. + 11. September 2010, Universidade Juiz de Fora.
12. – 16. September, Eimas International Festival for Music, Rio de Janeiro.
17. September, Universidade de Sao Paolo.
18. – 20. September, Deutsche Botschaft, Brasilia.