Oxana Omelchuk — domkrat polej i pustot

„Randomly found photo albums are always able to touch, but one can always research the stories, they tell.“
(Diedrich Diedrichsen „Über Pop-Musik“)

The composer today has lost the romantic state of an inventor long ago: every artistic material is loaded with meaning and the attempts to find a new sound leading to nothing but tautology. Music composed today shows very often that capturing the old as the new is the actual impetus of the artistic work; a tendency found equally in academic music as in pop music.

In many of my latest pieces, the compositional proces startet with the creation of a network of associations; I am searching for contextual examples, allusions, associations with a certain subject, be it a given instrumentation, genre or a term. The compositional process is being shifted away from the score paper to a surface of associational research.

In this piece I start from solo instruments that couldn't be more different but also from the players/ musicians themselves.
The analog synthesizer EMS VCS 3, the first portable synthesizer in history (1969) and the flute that was already in use in prehistoric times. But it is not only the age of the instruments that makes them so different but also the kind of sound production (electronic/acoustic), the genre of their typical use ((prog-)rock music/classical music)), as well as the whole spectrum of associations and clichés that is bound to each intrument and each interpreter.

A synthesizer player nerd, who prefers to act out his great musical fantasies alone in his studio, stuffed with countless devices and switches; and the flute virtuoso who personifies something elegant, sophisticated, elitist just by her posture.
A classical musician whose career begins with instrumental lessons or with a wonderful talent that is discovered by a caring teacher at school and a rock musician whose career begins with the fascination for the song, heard through his older brother's door and the performance of air guitar or imaginary microphone in front of the mirror. But are these attributes, associated with the synth or flute myth also found in my soloists?

On the one hand, my piece is an expedition through the history of both instruments; a kind of archaeological trace that will hopefully bring new artifacts to light. But there are more than just nostalgic reasons (though they are certainly present), that move me to juxtapose the sound of an almost 50 year old synthesizer with the sound of a flut; this is also an attempt to discover the synthesizer as an equal voice, to remusicalise its unique palette of sound beyond simple retro/vintage clichés.

At the same time, the piece zooms into the life of both soloists whose musical socialisation is rooted in different places.
Especially we look into the habitats of both protagonists: Living room, practice room, favourite bar, favourite walks. They are intimate projections of their daily life, which will hopefully reveal something of each: A discreet look at their thoughts, wishes, dreams, disappointments.

(Oxana Omelchuk, 2016)