The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music: The Interviews

Posted by Maxine Cook, Marketing Assistant

This week, James Saunders has uploaded his interview with Manfred Werder.


Interview with Manfred Werder:

I came across Manfred Werder’s music for the first time in 2000, following up encouraging comments made by others about his work and that of the Edition Wandelweiser composers with whom he is associated, eventually meeting him whilst he was on a residency in London later that year. These composers, centered around Antoine Beuger’s publishing company, create an uncompromising music: it deals with extremes and archetypes, is generally very quiet and silence has a large share of the often extended performance durations. The presentation of sound material is very clear: gridded structures and the establishment of spaces in which sounds might be placed are common traits. Werder’s music comprises a number of different ongoing series. His ausführende writing project (1999?) is a set of compositions for between one and nine performers. Each of these pieces contains a series of 160,000 time units, each lasting 12 seconds and consisting of six seconds of sound, followed by six seconds of silence. The scores are performed in succession, with the next performance starting at the action following the final one of the previous instalment. In his recent dated pieces however, Werder specifies a gradually reducing number of conditions for the presentation of sounds and actions, from the trio stück 2003’s instruction for two of the performers to play a common pitch lasting three to seven seconds once during the performance, to the more open requirement of 2005/1: place/ time// ( sounds ). The precision and subtlety of his exploration of modes of performative action can be seen when comparing this with the later 2006/2, which specifies: places// a time/// ( sounds ). Werder’s music questions our place in the world as both participants and observers.

The interview was conducted by email between 1st-10th February 2004.


The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental MusicRead the full interview here.

All the interviews from James Saunders can be found in The Ashgate Research Companion to Experimental Music.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s