A special guest at the festival will be German-Austrian composer Peter Ablinger, who has served as a guest conductor for the ensembles Klangforum Wien and United Berlin, and as a lecturer at the University of Huddersfield. Ablinger’s oeuvre is inspired by the desire to prompt the human ear to question what it hears. He accomplishes this through sound art installations rich with cultural references, harshly abstract electronic compositions, as well as almost comical performative works, and, finally, compositions, which listeners quite simply have to imagine in their own minds. The composer asks, “At what point does that which we hear cease to be music and become information or noise?”
Ablinger’s music will be performed at the festival by violinist Biliana Voutchkova, who has previously performed the music of Giacinto Scelsi at the festival. Voutchkova also performs as an improviser, and recently spent a spell in residence at the prestigious concert space Cafe OTO. Voutchkova will perform both her own and Ablinger’s music, and at the culmination of the concert the composer will join her in a duo improvisation. Invited to improvise at Skaņu mežs together with Voutchkova, Ablinger admitted that he’s never done anything of the kind before, “This is clearly an assault… But a welcome one!”
Biliana Voutchkova is a participating artist of the SHAPE+ platform for innovative music and a/v art, co-funded by the “Creative Europe” programme of the EU. This performance is part of her SHAPE+ residency in Riga.