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Festival Archip-elles – Women Power

The Geneva Festival for contemporary music creation has dedicated itself to music originating from the pen of women for its 2019 event. Archip-elles presents works by female composers of various generations, origin and aesthetics. On Friday, 05 April 2019, SUISA members are invited to a visit at the Festival. Text by Erika Weibel

Festival Archip-elles – Women Power

At the Festival Archip-elles 2019, the focus is on music by female contemporary composers. (Photo: Festival Archipel)

“In an article by the ‘Guardian’, ‘Female composers largely ignored by concert line-ups”, published on 13 June 2018, 1,445 classical concerts were examined which were planned around the world for the 2018-19 season, and the conclusion was drawn that only 76 events featured a work by a woman”, writes Festival director Marc Texier in the Editorial of this year’s festival guide. The Geneva Festival for Contemporary Music Creation creates a counterweight against this gender-based imbalance in the concert world and ensures that the music by female composers is heard at the 2019 event.

The concert programme of this year’s Festival Archip-elles is complemented by installations, round tables and workshops. On Friday morning, 05 April 2019, the Festival organises a workshop, in collaboration with SUISA, on the topic of copyright for students of the “Haute école de musique Genève”, the “Conservatoire populaire de musique” and the participants of the two academies “Académie Archipel” and Composer’s Next Generation (Ensemble Vortex).

Invitation for SUISA members

The Festival Archipel and SUISA cordially invite SUISA members to spend the evening of 05 April 2019 at the Festival. SUISA members who register their participation can attend free of charge. We are looking forward to your registrations until 31 March 2019 at the latest. Please send an e-mail to: kommunikation (at) suisa (dot) ch

A detailed evening programme, to which SUISA members are invited, is listed below. One programme item of particular interest on said evening is the round table discussion on the topic “to be a female composer in Switzerland”.

Round Table Discussion: To be a female composer in Switzerland

What’s it like for female composers to hold their ground in a world dominated by men? Why is it harder for a female composer to get her works to be performed? Why don’t more women choose a career as a composer?

Marc Texier, Festival director, follows up on these questions in a conversation with the two Swiss female composers Katharina Rosenberger and Annette Schmucki as well as with Dr. Irene Minder-Jeanneret, musicologist with a research focus on gender and music.

Once the discussion is over, the stage is open for the musical part of the evening: In a concert with the ensemble Vortex, the work by Swiss composer Barblina Meierhans will have its premiere, among others. Afterwards, Ella Soto will perform on a DJ set.

Detailed programme, where members are invited on Friday, 05 April 2019, at the Festival Archip-elles in Geneva:

5.00pm, Maison communale de Plainpalais
Visit to the installations of Marianthi Papalexandri and Pe Lang

6.00pm, Maison communale de Plainpalais
Drinks and discussion panel: To be a female composer in Switzerland
Dr. Irène Minder-Jeanneret, musicologist
Katharina Rosenberger, composer
Annette Schmucki, composer
Presentation: Marc Texier

8.00pm, Théâtre Pitoëff
Concert
The ensemble Vortex is going to play works by Barblina Meierhans, Olga Kokcharova, Eva Reiter, Ann Cleare, Clara Iannotta and Jessie Marino.

10.00pm – 1.00 am, Maison communale de Plainpalais
Ella Soto – DJ Set, Carte blanche à La VostokE
La Vostoke is the first radio sender in Switzerland which is a 100% female.

www.archipel.org, festival website

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The Geneva Festival for contemporary music creation has dedicated itself to music originating from the pen of women for its 2019 event. Archip-elles presents works by female composers of various generations, origin and aesthetics. On Friday, 05 April 2019, SUISA members are invited to a visit at the Festival. Text by Erika Weibel

Festival Archip-elles – Women Power

At the Festival Archip-elles 2019, the focus is on music by female contemporary composers. (Photo: Festival Archipel)

“In an article by the ‘Guardian’, ‘Female composers largely ignored by concert line-ups”, published on 13 June 2018, 1,445 classical concerts were examined which were planned around the world for the 2018-19 season, and the conclusion was drawn that only 76 events featured a work by a woman”, writes Festival director Marc Texier in the Editorial of this year’s festival guide. The Geneva...read more

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

By placing four Swiss composers in the limelight on Wednesday 21 March 2018, Festival Archipel demonstrated that Swiss composers are still very present in contemporary music. Text by guest author Sébastien Cayet

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss composer who was born in Zurich and works in the US, and festival director Marc Texier at the introductory discussion for the “Swiss Concert Evening“ at the Festival Archipel on 21 March 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

With the support of SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers, Archipel proposed an evening in two parts. In cooperation with SUISA, Marc Texier, General Manager of the Festival, invited Swiss composers Katharina Rosenberger and Michael Pelzel for a pre-concert interview. This was a good opportunity to hear about their activities, influences, composition methods and projects.

The least one can say is that their influences are at opposite ends of the spectrum: Katharina Rosenberger draws her musical references from the Renaissance, namely Willaert and De Rore in particular, while Michael Pelzel willingly avows that, in his piece he used Indian and African techniques to create a contrast between western and non-European music, and between tradition and innovation. The range of their activities does not, however, stop at composition; one teaches in the United States, the other plays the organ.

This means that neither of them have to rely solely on composing for their livelihood; they agree that the surge in streaming, is eliminating – or strongly eroding – CDs and live shows, which are an important source of income for them. Fortunately for the composers, SUISA is committed to safeguarding their copyrights, and makes sure they are remunerated when their compositions are performed.

Swiss creations and international creations

After the interview, the concert was ready to start. Four pieces are on the programme: two Swiss creations, namely “Tempi agitati“ by Katharina Rosenberger and “Ante Litteram“ by Oscar Bianchi, and two international creations, namely “Etüdienbuch zu Diabelli“ by Michael Pelzel and “Präludien Buch 1-4“ by Mischa Käser.

The Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart, a German vocal ensemble, performed a customised repertoire composed especially for them. They had already performed the piece by Oscar Bianchi in 2012 and that by Katharina Rosenberger in 2016.

In “Tempi agitati“ – performed in an abridged version that evening – Katharina Rosenberger creates contrasted settings thanks to alternating aesthetics and a staging based on the acoustics and architecture of the concert hall. The performance starts in the dark. The soloists are sitting among the audience. Suddenly, one of them starts a dialogue of onomatopoeia. With precision, the vocalists answer, wait for and interrupt one another. They then come together on stage and strike up a polyphonic song in Renaissance style, with a nod to Adrian Willaert and Cipriano de Rore.

In revisiting the music of the Renaissance, the composer is seeking the natural sound of the voice. The voices of the soloists are pure, linear and without artifice – but not without emotion. The beginning of “Tempi agitati“ is characteristic of the piece; the singers move about the room, alternate and juxtapose the aesthetics, tempi and characters, and finish like they started: in the dark, offstage and non visible to the audience.

Each musical effect has a meaning

In “Ante Litteram“, Oscar Bianchi is inspired by David Foster Wallace’s “Infinite Jest“ and Nietzsche’s “Antechrist“ where he finds “the same empathy and lucidity in the exploration of the reasons preventing man from achieving deeper self-knowledge and self-awareness”. The piece has three underlying themes: evil, morality and salvation, and each musical effect has a meaning.

After a beginning spoken in homorhythm, the voices stagger out slowly, adopting different rhythms and renditions, like clear and coherent thought which becomes lost in the meanders of the mind. The dissonance between the sopranos, for example, evokes pain, the imitated laughter tends towards absurdity, while the variations in pace run parallel to the variation of our own internal agitation.

Diabelli, in the work of Michael Pelzel, refers neither to the composer Anton Diabelli, nor to Beethoven’s “Diabelli variations“. “Etüdenbuch zu Diabelli“ for six voices a cappella is based on a story by Hermann Burger in which a magician decides to put an end to his life as an artist. The studies, which can be sung in random order, play on the rhythms provoked by the synchronisation and desynchronisation of the voices. Moreover, the tempi are sometimes superimposed, with the female and male voices beating to different pulsations so that the voices enter into opposition.

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart lived up to expectations

To end the evening, Mischer Käser’s “Präludien Buch 1-4“ was rich in musical elements: superposed effects – spoken voice, operatic cell, rhythmic cell – rendering the voices independent from each other, dramatisation, with sighing, breathing and perfectly synchronised surprise effects. The composer wanted “exotic song techniques to cohabit with familiar sounds and make them alien”. Surprise and originality are the characteristic features of the work, as well as the dichotomy between the western form of the prelude and the “exotic techniques” used.

Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart lived up to our expectations; the apparent ease with which they performed the virtuoso repertoire was disconcerting. There is no question about their versatility in mastering the works, effects and even the aesthetics. The performance highlighted the perfect understanding and osmosis between the members of the group which enables them to grasp every aspect of these virtuoso works and transcend them in their interpretation.

www.archipel.org

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By placing four Swiss composers in the limelight on Wednesday 21 March 2018, Festival Archipel demonstrated that Swiss composers are still very present in contemporary music. Text by guest author Sébastien Cayet

Swiss creations at Festival Archipel

Katharina Rosenberger, a Swiss composer who was born in Zurich and works in the US, and festival director Marc Texier at the introductory discussion for the “Swiss Concert Evening“ at the Festival Archipel on 21 March 2018 in Geneva. (Photo: Manu Leuenberger)

With the support of SUISA, the Cooperative Society of Music Authors and Publishers, Archipel proposed an evening in two parts. In cooperation with SUISA, Marc Texier, General Manager of the Festival, invited Swiss composers Katharina Rosenberger and Michael Pelzel for a pre-concert interview. This was a good opportunity to hear about their activities, influences, composition methods and projects.

The least...read more

Career and calling | plus video

How do I found and run an ensemble for contemporary music? Where do I get subsidies for my music projects from? What is the purpose of SUISA and Swissperform? How do I distribute my works via the internet? Impressions gathered during the first ever “Journée d’orientation professionelle” at the Festival Archipel 2017. Text, photo and video by Manu Leuenberger

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, at the Festival Archipel in Geneva, it was possible to witness the reasons why music can be both career and calling. During the day, an information event took place for young music creators. Based on their wealth of expertise and experience, 12 field experts shared their input in presentations which included many tips on how to enter a career as a musician.

The video impressions only grant a glimpse into the expansive range of topics which were discussed. Further presentations during this first ever “Journée d’orientation professionelle”, the organisation of which was supported by SUISA, were given by: Johannes Knapp – Director of the STV/ASM (Association of Swiss Musicians), Damien Pousset – Founder of the Aeon label, François Passard (Director) und Alain Renaud (Head of the production studio) of L’Abri, Lucas Fagin – composer and co-director of Babelscores, Bruno Serrou – music critic and Marie-Christine Papillon – Director of Papillon publishing.

Career and calling | plus video

Inspiration and profession were also touched upon during the discussions with composers on 01 April 2017 at the Festival Archipel prior to the evening concert in the Alhambra. On the podium, on the far right: Xavier Dayer, President of the SUISA Board.

In the evening prior to the concert in the Alhambra, a public discussion with composers was held. Xavier Dayer, President of the SUISA Board, was also on the podium. The audience at the well attended event found out why copyright remuneration is particularly important for composers who do not receive any concert fees. Due to the copyright remuneration they receive for their work, composers such as Hanspeter Kyburz, William Blank or Tristan Murail can create works like the ones that were performed in the concert just after the discussion by the Lemanic Modern Ensemble.

www.archipel.org, festival website

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All comments will be moderated. This may take some time and we reserve the right not to publish comments that contradict the conditions of use.

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How do I found and run an ensemble for contemporary music? Where do I get subsidies for my music projects from? What is the purpose of SUISA and Swissperform? How do I distribute my works via the internet? Impressions gathered during the first ever “Journée d’orientation professionelle” at the Festival Archipel 2017. Text, photo and video by Manu Leuenberger

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, at the Festival Archipel in Geneva, it was possible to witness the reasons why music can be both career and calling. During the day, an information event took place for young music creators. Based on their wealth of expertise and experience, 12 field experts shared their input in presentations which included many tips on how to enter a career as a musician.

The video impressions only grant a glimpse...read more

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

Now for the 26th time, the Archipel Festival offers an opportunity for a rendez-vous with contemporary music creation between 24 March and 02 April 2017. For the first time, SUISA will be involved in the Archipel Festival this year. With SUISA’s support, an info day for young music creators will be held on 01 April 2017, as well as a public talk session with composers. More in the interview with festival director Marc Texier which has been carried out in writing. Text/interview by Manu Leuenberger

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

“The Archipel Festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and present contemporary music in all of its forms”, writes Marc Texier, Director of the Geneva Archipel Festival. (Photo: Festival Archipel / Isabelle Meister)

Marc Texier, the 26th occurrence of the Archipel Festival between 24 March and 02 April 2017 in Geneva will be held under the motto “ensemble”. What’s behind this slogan?
Marc Texier: Under the motto “ensemble”, Archipel 2017 celebrates the important art of joint creation, which would be nice if we could see it transferred to other communities and which is extensively practised by the young musicians’ generation. We would like to offer it a broad concert platform.

What is the greater motivation when it comes to organising a festival: The desire to provide contemporary composers and artists with a shop window or to entice a wider audience for New Music?
The festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and to make the transition from university to work life easier. Its intention is also to present contemporary music in all of its forms and to pave the way to New Music for a big audience. The festival follows a dramaturgic script and provides the platform for the sound of living material of an art form which is reinventing itself.

Works of contemporary composers are often doomed to a life in the shadows when it comes to the programmes of traditional concert halls. Why is it that people prefer to perform Bach rather than New Music?
If only it was Bach; but it’s usually rather Tchaikovsky. That’s a question you should ask the representatives of orchestras and concert halls. Where does this strong restraint vis-a-vis contemporary music creation come from? It’s not always dictated by the audience, as they are curious, how I could determine time and again. It’s the structures, orchestras, opera houses, radios which hold on to music which dominated the time of its creation in the 19th and 20th century. What people forget is that the music back then was the most important carrier of modern times. We’re facing a museum-like approach rather than the joy of discovery. Thank God, however, there are exceptions.

Under the auspices of the Académie Archipel Ose! which takes place for the first time and is run by Kaija Saariaho and Daniel Kawka, 6 young composers may take a one-week course in symphonic composition for the first time. What’s the point of an education when there are no more rules and everything is allowed in music nowadays?
Edgar Varèse, one of the ‘fathers’ of New Music, wanted to reduce the rules (grammar) and only follow the (mainly acoustic) laws. Here we are now. There are basically no more rules, just what you need to channel your own imagination. What still applies are the physical laws of sound, its source and how it spreads. There are thousands of techniques to construct a work, to dominate its form, the musical discourse. And finally, computer science also belongs to the pragmatic and necessary instruments of music composition. Once all of that has been acquired, the most substantial factor comes along: to find your own voice, to create something of your own. Colleges, where people of the most diverse backgrounds and varied careers get together, are a help to achieve this: Once the young musicians have learned about the “laws” at the conservatoire, they discover their own “self” when meeting other composers of their generation.

What kind of challenges does a budding Swiss composer master so that his works gain international recognition?
The same as a Frenchman or a Korean woman. Since the wall came down, and many countries have gained access to relative wealth, music creation has been heavily internationalised. The candidates for the Académie Archipel Ose! came from no less than 30 countries on five continents. They are expected to bring along a solid theoretical and practical basic knowledge, imagination and originality, since they travel from academy to academy around the world in order to complete their education and to be able to gain international recognition.

On Saturday, 01 April 2017, a “Journée d’orientation professionnelle” for young composers and artists will be held, co-produced with SUISA. Access to this event in ‘L’Abri’ is free of charge. What does this event have in store for a young music creator?
As newcomers, we have all had the unsettling experience that there is a gap between our career ambitions and professional reality. We cannot change that altogether, but we can help young musician, composers and artists to get to know the environment in which they will be active. This includes administrative, legal, technical and human constraints which they are subjected to when they perform their music for which they were specifically trained. Musical professions – ranging from music critic to publishers of music score and from orchestra musician to creators of sound – have been fundamentally changed as a consequence of the computerisation of music creation, the dematerialisation of carriers, the disappearance of boundaries between the art forms, and the replacement of traditional dissemination channels such as TV, radio and print media by social networks. Experts that have been invited to attend this event will be addressing these issues.

How about yourself: What kind of events from this year’s festival programme are you not going to miss under any circumstance?
I will, of course, attend them all, and can therefore not really answer this question. As a connoisseur of New Music, I would not wish to miss out on the creations of our four most important contemporary composers: Murail, Kyburz, Gervasoni and Blank, in the course of the concert of the Lemanic Modern Ensemble on 01 April. If I wanted to have an introduction to contemporary music unknown to me, and wanted to be able to ask various artists questions in a pleasant atmosphere, I wouldn’t want to miss the afternoon of 2 April to the ‘salons de musique’, which are dedicated to the contrabass clarinet and the drums.

www.archipel.org, festival website

“Journée d’orientation professionnelle”
I am a young composer and at the beginning of my career. Where can I complete my education and training? At which academy? How do I introduce myself? I have founded an ensemble: How do I get it to become well-known, how do I develop and run it? Do I have to register with a collective management organisation? What’s better: paper or ‘dematerialised’ editions? Can I upload my music on the internet for free? Where can I work in an multidisciplinary manner? Where do I distribute my work? These and many more questions are what young artists are asking themselves at the beginning of their careers. We attempt to answer them in the course of meetings with lawyers, publishers, teachers and music producers. The event is under the auspices of SUISA and intended to facilitate the career entry for young musicians. It is open to everyone. (Text: Archipel Festival)
Saturday, 01 April 2017 at the ‘L’Abri – A2’, free admission
10:00-10:10 Welcome speech by Bernard Meier – President of the Archipel Association responsible for the workshops of the music conservatoire HEM
10:10-10:30 Nicolas Pont – Head of SUISA Legal Services
10:30-10:50 David Johnson – responsible for Swissperform’s branch office in the French-speaking part of Switzerland
10:50-11:10 Johannes Knapp – Director of the STV/ASM
11:20-11:40 Damien Pousset – Founder of the Aeon label
11:40-12:00 Andri Hardmeier – Head of the Music Division of Pro Helvetia
12:00-12:20 François Passard (Director) and Alain Renaud (Manager of the production studio) of the ‘L’Abri’
Break
13:30-13:50 Marc Texier – Archipel Director
13:50-14:10 Daniel Zea – Composer and founding member of the Ensemble Vortex
14:10-14:30 Tzairi Santos Garcia – responsible for the digital development at Outhere Music
14:30-14:50 Lucas Fagin – Composer and co-director of Babelscores
15:00-15:20 Bruno Serrou – Music critic
15:20-15:40 Marie-Christine Papillon – Director of Papillon Publishing
15:40-16.00 Conclusion/Debrief
Conversations with composers
With Hanspeter Kyburz, Stefano Gervasoni, William Blank, Tristan Murail, Xavier Dayer. Presented by Marc Texier.

Saturday, 01 April 2017, 20.00 hrs
Alhambra, free admission

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Now for the 26th time, the Archipel Festival offers an opportunity for a rendez-vous with contemporary music creation between 24 March and 02 April 2017. For the first time, SUISA will be involved in the Archipel Festival this year. With SUISA’s support, an info day for young music creators will be held on 01 April 2017, as well as a public talk session with composers. More in the interview with festival director Marc Texier which has been carried out in writing. Text/interview by Manu Leuenberger

Archipel Festival: Rendez-vous with contemporary music

“The Archipel Festival has a twofold mission: Its aim is to seek out young artists and present contemporary music in all of its forms”, writes Marc Texier, Director of the Geneva Archipel Festival. (Photo: Festival Archipel / Isabelle Meister)

Marc Texier, the 26th occurrence of the Archipel Festival...read more

SUISA Board meeting: Collections, budget and sponsoring for classical music

Four times each year, SUISA Board members gather in committee and plenary meetings. Some of the agenda items are recurring at a set date each year: In spring, the annual accounts for the past financial year is an important issue. In December, the budget for the following year is set. Additional topics arise from the course of business such as changes to the distribution rules, details on tariff negotiations or the cooperation with other organisations. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA Board meeting: Collections, budget and sponsoring for classical music

Snapshot of a concert with works by Claude Vivier and Karlheinz Stockhausen during the last Archipel festival in Geneva: In 2017, SUISA is going to carry out a sponsoring project together with the festival organisers. (Photo: Raphaëlle Mueller)

Budget control is one of the fixed items on the agenda for the Committee for Finance and Controlling. A review of the figures relating to the current financial year during the October 2016 Board meetings showed a positive trend: As at 31 August 2016, collections were higher than budgeted figures, and expenses stayed within the budget.

The Chairman of the Board Committee in charge expressed his satisfaction at the positive development of the total domestic collections and the fact that they surpassed both the budget and the income from the previous year. Said trend had already emerged in the report on the current financial year presented to the General Assembly in June.

Current financial year satisfactory so far

With regards to broadcasting rights (CHF 44.6m), the new Tariff S (private broadcasters) had a favourable effect. As to performing rights (CHF 33.4m), it was mainly due to Tariff E (cinemas) and CT 3a (background entertainment) that such good results were achieved. Reproduction rights, however, failed to meet expectations (CHF 4.2m), and thus reflected the respective market conditions.

Compensation claims increased (CHF 5.3m) – also due to the blank media levy for smartphones (Tariff CT 4e). While less devices were actually sold, bigger data storage capacities contributed to the increase of collections. The relevant trend in the online sector (CHF 4.6m) also matches the marketplace tendency: Income from streaming usage increased while that from downloads decreased.

However, the year hasn’t come to an end yet. Irregular payment receipts, appeals regarding tariff negotiation processes or market trends are factors that SUISA can hardly influence. Nevertheless, Board Directors and Management are confident that the budgeted numbers will be reached, maybe even exceeded by the end of 2016.

Sponsoring involvement planned for the classical music sector

During the Board Committee for Organisation and Communication, SUISA’s sponsoring involvement for 2017 were discussed. SUISA usually does not participate in many sponsoring opportunities as a rule. SUISA usually pursues a specific purpose when getting involved.

The main intention is to raise awareness for composers’ creations and to anchor cultural and economic values of such creative work into public perception. Furthermore, sharing copyright knowledge and informing the public about SUISA’s activities are primary purposes of sponsoring involvements. In such cases, specific projects are usually chosen where compositions, SUISA and copyright can be used as concrete topics for discussion at events and special occasions.

As such, a new SUISA involvement in sponsoring is planned to be for the classical music sector. The Board of Directors welcomed this initiative. A cooperation project with the Archipel Festival is planned for 2017. The festival for contemporary music creation shall take place between 24 March and 2 April 2017 in Geneva.

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Four times each year, SUISA Board members gather in committee and plenary meetings. Some of the agenda items are recurring at a set date each year: In spring, the annual accounts for the past financial year is an important issue. In December, the budget for the following year is set. Additional topics arise from the course of business such as changes to the distribution rules, details on tariff negotiations or the cooperation with other organisations. Report from the Board by Dora Zeller and Manu Leuenberger

SUISA Board meeting: Collections, budget and sponsoring for classical music

Snapshot of a concert with works by Claude Vivier and Karlheinz Stockhausen during the last Archipel festival in Geneva: In 2017, SUISA is going to carry out a sponsoring project together with the festival organisers. (Photo: Raphaëlle Mueller)

Budget control is one of the fixed items on the...read more