Resonance of the past
Six memos for the next millennium was the intended title of a Harvard University lecture series by Italo Calvino. The Italian writer and literary theorist died in 1985 having only completed his notes for five of the six lectures; this material was subsequently compiled and published as a book in 1988 under the author’s original title. With Six Memos from the Last Millennium, Israeli composer Yair Klartag shifts the perspective of Calvino‘s lectures – from proclamations to future generations to reflections on the past. Each of Klartag’s Six Memos – like the Calvino lectures – is dedicated to a single abstract concept.
However, while Calvino joyfully espouses the virtues of Lightness, Quickness, Exactitude, Visibility and Multiplicity in literature (the sixth lecture was to be on Consistency), Klartag’s work is a suite of sonic illustrations of the notions of, respectively, Silencing, Intervention, Conservation, Authenticity, Individualism and Compression. The sentiment that these terms evoke when used alongside one another in reference to the previous century is not incidental – Six Memos from the Last Millennium is an attempt by the composer to express his disdain for the power structures of the twentieth century and his disillusionment with their persistence in the present.
With works by
Anja Clift, flute
Eduardo Olloqui, oboe
Shizuyo Oka, clarinet
Klaus Steffes-Holländer, piano
Christian Dierstein, percussion
Melise Mellinger, violin
Sofia von Atzingen, viola
Åsa Akerberg, violoncello
Supported by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.
In cooperation with the E-Werk Freiburg.