La petite girafe travaille a la domicile. —
A story with the little giraffe
This is not going to end up as a new corona-blog. In the course of setting up my new homepage I figured out that the last story with the little giraffe dates back to 2019. What a desaster. I have made the most ambitious LPG-plans for 2020, but it all has come different. As we’ve finally headed back to working from home I’m getting overtaken by the feeling that this should be a somewhat familiar situation to a composers. Of course it is—and of course it isn’t.
Krzysztof Penderecki, the great Polish composer who passed away but a few months ago, was also known for sketching some of his compositional ideas on small tables in coffee houses, which has influenced his way of notating his music. Other than that, composers usually love to ponder over their ideas in peaceul seclusion. Silence helps us because it wouldn’t distort the sounds that we bear in our minds before we write them down, unless we consider that silence itself can be regarded as music. If I listened to the silence in a way I listen to music by John Cage, it would definitely distort my thoughs while composing a new piece. Nonetheless I daresay that I believe it is easier to think of a nice microtonally tuned harmonic progression when there’s less obvious noise around oneself than in a coffee house.
I’m definitely missing having a cup of coffee at the Baristas across from our university building or the unhurriedly homelike Kaiserfeld in Graz these days, though. Art is not only something meant to be shared with as many people as possible but art will also not become seen, if people do not come together. People come together in concert halls and people meet and talk about music and art at places such as the Kaiserfeld. Thus, even my work as a composer cannot be done entirely from home. The act of composing is done at home, whereas bringing a new work to the audience isn’t.
Well, as 2021 nears, let’s be optimistic. Here you are some thirteen giraffe-like plans for the coming year that cannot be done at home:
- Drink a cappuccino at Kaiserfeld’s.
- Go to see a film at the cinema and grumble about it afterwards.
- Argue Ferneyhough’s notation with other musicians—accompanied by a pint of Guinness in order to entirely understand what this is all about.
- Turn the pages for a pianist at a concert
- Go to a vernissage and ask the artist a silly question.
- Hand out flyers at various public places.
- Play on an old organ (not in concert).
- Play on a singing bowl (in concert).
- Visit the Funeral Museum Vienna.
- Try to sell a replica of Kircher’s Maltese Observatory on a flea market.
- Visit Italy.
- Go to the Kunsthaus in Graz and purchase a little friend for the little giraffe.
- Travel to Kapfenberg by train, see if they have finally rebuilt the station there and go back again (there’s nothing special about Kapfenberg).