The arts and humanities of today often exhibit a particularly complex relationship with history. The impulse to challenge and reject conventional wisdom – a hallmark of the post-modernism of the late 20th century – has come to be intertwined with something that, while it cannot quite be described as nostalgia, at least carries a sense that we are all, for better or worse, exiles of the past. In other words, we have within us the capacity to think and act as past generations did, like a diaspora community that suddenly revives abandoned customs from its ancestral homeland.
As we as artists become increasingly critical of the legacies of so-called Western high culture and its institutions, it is necessary to reflect upon our relationship with history and the implications of our deep connection to it – after all, meaningful efforts to redress the lack of inclusivity that was the norm in our field for centuries are only a recent phenomenon. Our 23/24 season is therefore a contemplation on what distinguishes today from yesterday, this year from last year, this century from last century… We recognise the progress which is enriching and diversifying our musical landscape while also holding ourselves up to scrutiny and seeking to engage with criticism for the parts of history that we still carry with us.
In our Freiburg Subscriber Season, Ensemble Recherche will present five concert events which endeavour, each in a different way, to examine the echoes of the past in our creative milieu. At the heart of these projects is the desire to create a framework in which composers and sound artists of diverse backgrounds, identities and stylistic orientations may express through music their perspectives and convictions with respect to the concepts briefly touched upon above. We hope that you, our listeners, will join the conversation too!
These projects and others will of course also be presented beyond the walls of our hometown, with performances at festivals including Traiettorie, Eclat, Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik and Acht Brücken. Finally, pedagogical and outreach engagements this season will see us travel to the four corners of Germany, as well as to Switzerland and Greece.
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