Freedom of Colours, detail © Alba Simaku
Freedom of Colours, detail © Alba Simaku

Thomas Simaku — Klang Inventions

When I first heard Klangforum Wien at Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival a few years ago, my jaw dropped! So I relished this opportunity of composing for members of Klangforum, and have wholeheartedly dedicated the piece to them. In fact, the first impulse for this composition is inextricably linked to this specific ensemble, hence the title Klang Inventions.

The music here focuses on "family resemblances" within the ensemble, and specific instruments take a leading role in the musical argument at strategic stages of the formal structure, and are highlighted for their colour, virtuosity and their expressive qualities. Based on certain instrumental "alliances" within the ensemble, the idea here was to create an overall formal structure that would have elements of a multi-movement composition, but at the same time preserve the continuity of an "uninterrupted" line on macro-structural level. The musical idiom of the piece is centered on specific aspects of white modality constantly surrounded by chromatic and microtonal inflections. A clear example here is the textural format of the invention in the middle section, which explores the drone based type of linearity – a salient characteristic of the ancient musical aura of the Balkans. As Ligeti commented in an interview published in the Romanian magazine Revista Muzica "these types of drones, the origin of long and sustained sound that supports melismatic melodies can be found on a large scale especially in Southern Albania…."

Following my studies at the Tirana Conservatoire in 1983, I worked for three years as Music Director in Përmet – a remote town in Southern Albania right at the border with Greece. The first-hand experience I had from working with folk musicians and listening to ancient songs seems to have had a lasting effect on my creative conscience. There are no quotations from folk music here, or in any other works of mine, but resonances of that sound-world have subconsciously become part of my own music.
—Thomas Simaku, 2018

 in Werke
12 October 2018
8.30 p.m.
Nicosia, Shoe Factory Pharos Arts Foundation 10th International Pharos Contemporary Music Festival UA UA UA

Pierre Boulez — Dérive 1
Helmut Lachenmann — Pression
Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann
— Siray III – Cuadrados Concéntricos World Premiere
Thomas Simaku
— Klang Inventions World Premiere
Evis Sammoutis — Secret garden World Premiere
Beat Furrer — Retour an dich

Claude Vivier — Pièce pour violon et clarinette
Franco Donatoni — Argot

Oliver Vivarès, clarinet
Sophie Schafleitner, violin
Andreas Lindenbaum, violoncello

The composer Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann on his new piece:
Jorge Villavicencio Grossmann — Siray III – Cuadrados Concéntricos

The composer Thomas Simaku on his new piece:
Thomas Simaku — Klang Inventions

The composer Evis Sammoutis on his new piece:
Evis Sammoutis — Secret garden

Organised by the Pharos Arts Foundation.