< forrige
Sarah Nemtsov
Koncert torsdag at 20:00, Granhøj Dans
External link: www.sarah-nemtsov.de
Sarah Nemtsov
Composer (DE), 1980
 
"Silence is a utopia, something beautiful, strong, all possibilities inside, but mostly unreachable."

Sarah Nemtsov's recent works often operate at the border between concert and music theatre. She finds forms very interesting when they are not easy to grasp, not to be pigeonholed. Her music is often inspired from consideration of other arts – literature (Edmond Jabès, Paul Celan, Walter Benjamin, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, W.G. Sebald or Mirko Bonné), visual arts, or choreography – in terms of content as well as formally, in compositional technique, or as a conceptual stimulation.

Sarah Nemtsov has studied composition at the Hannover Hochschule for Music and Theatre with Nigel Osborne, Johannes Schoellhorn (composition) and Klaus Becker (oboe). Since 2003, she studied oboe with Burkhard Glaetzner in Berlin. After her graduation in both disciplines in 2005, she began her post-graduate studies in composition with Walter Zimmermann at the Berlin University of the Arts.

Between 1995–1999, she won the German competition for young composers five times. Nemtsov has also been awarded with the Hanns Eisler Prize, ZONTA Music Prize, Deutsche Musikautorenpreis (German Music Authors Prize, GEMA), Busoni Composition Prize.

As a composer, she has worked together with Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, ensemble Accroche Note, Trio accanto, Neues Ensemble Hanover, ensemble Adapter, Nomos Quartet, Oh-Ton-Ensemble, or the International Ensemble Modern Academy.

Her compositions are featured in various international festivals – fx at the Donaueschingen Music Days (2011), ICSM World New Music festival in Stuttgart, festival Musica in Strasbourg, Festival Ultraschall, Zeitkunst and Klangwerkstatt in Berlin and the ADEvantgarde in Munich.

Sarah Nemtsov is a member of the Berlin composers' society Klangnetz. Her chamber opera „Herzland“ (2005) premiered in Hanover in 2006; it was staged at the Bavarian state opera in 2011 (in co-production with Orchester Jakobsplatz Munich). Her opera „L'ABSENCE“ (2006-2008) after „Le Livre des Questions“ by Edmond Jabès had its premiere May 2012 at the Munich Biennale. Her works are being published at Peer Music Classical Hamburg.

3 questions for Nemtsov

What opportunities, qualities or restrictions do you think sound has as an artistic material?

Pitch, sound, noise: part of our reality (more than silence), the complex polyphony that surrounds us. Nowadays, the use – rather than the origin of the sound (or the way how it is produced) – qualifies it for the adjective ”artistic”. No restrictions. Incomprehensibility may be one quality of something new. Important (in my opinion) is the artistic view, working on sounds in some kind of a poetic elevation – which can mean distortion, fragmentation, destruction or glorification as well.
Having the courage to follow a vision that cannot be reached.
Besides the sounds of ”normal instrument” (although I also like writing for unusual instruments – like lute, pipa, sheng, cimbalom or cynk) I use other objects; objects from every day life – if the sonic qualities are interesting to me – strange objects, objects I find (in my children’s room fx) or objects and instruments I imagine – that are to be built by the musician or an artist. These objects are often not only important because of the sounds they produce, but also because of their meaning – I use them like a chiffre, a code or a different layer that can be visual as well.

What does silence represent to you – in generel and in regards to your artistic practice?


Silence is an utopia, something beautiful, strong, all possibilities inside, but mostly unreachable. I experienced silence in the Californian desert. But even there, it was only an approach, there was still wind. And my own breath.
Edmond Jabès says: ”It is very hard to live with silence. The real silence is death and this is terrible. To approach this silence, it is necessary to journey to the desert. You do not go to the desert to find identity, but to lose it, to lose your personality, to be anonymous. You make yourself void. You become silence. You become more silent than the silence around you. And then something extraordinary happens: you hear silence speak.”
I need silence to work, when I am sitting at my desk, holding pencils, stencils, crumpling paper, looking out of the window, scribble. Even though you can find parts in my compositions that are on the threshold to inaudibility, my music (at least so far) is mostly not very silent.

Nevertheless silences or pauses are very important for me. The tension, the paradoxical relation between them: one makes the other ”sound”.

How do you work with the relation between sound and context in your artistic practice?

Streets of Berlin, on my bike, collecting sounds, listening to music, almost crash - complex dramaturgy of life: nothing is fixed, everything could change, or vanish, or something new could enter, every minute. And still: everything is connected. Somehow.
This is the music I want to compose. This is how I am connected to life and see my obligation to mirror and comment it with my work.

My recent compositions often operate at the border between concert and music theatre. Forms are interesting to me when they are not easy to grasp, not to be pigeonholed. Objects and sounds of every day life may appear in my compositions,  but never thought of for pure effect (besides I am often hiding them), but always for their sonic and sometimes also poetical or visual qualities. My music is often inspired from considerating other arts – literature (Edmond Jabès, Paul Celan, Walter Benjamin, Emily Dickinson, Virginia Woolf, W.G. Sebald or Mirko Bonné), visual arts, or choreography – in terms of content as well as formally, in compositional technique, or as a conceptual stimulation. Even if there is a theatrical or programmatic, philosophical or even political layer in a work – I compose at the same time very abstract: music only. I need to feel the necessity from the musical point of view. Actually, that is what I am looking for: necessity, complexity and innovation.
 
> Ernst Surberg
> WORDS, WORK, SLEEP, SWITCH AND ROLL