verweilen, an ambient soundscape inspired by the coronavirus pandemic has just been released on various streaming platforms.
The coronavirus pandemic has hit the music life very hard around the world. In March 2020, just in a matter of days, musicians, ensembles, orchestras, choirs and conductors were forced to cancel their performances until further notice. In addition to performing musicians, the lockdowns around the world have affected other personnel in the field of performing arts. The pandemic has also affected composers in fundamental way. For almost a year now, it has been a very rare event for a composer to have the chance to hear their works performed in public. While live streams of performances have been arranged around the world, they tend to have a distancing element to them. The importance of social interaction between people, performers and their audience has proven to be vital.
This notion of the human need for social interaction was also recognized by German-based composer Adrian Oswalt. He has launched a sound exhibition project Art has to be contagious, which emphasizes the importance of people being in connection with each other. He has invited composers and musicians around the world to participate in his project, by composing or improvising a new work based on a melody by him. In August 2020, he contacted me and asked if I would have the chance to take part in his project as well. I was immediately interested in this project, where Oswalt's original melody serves as a base for new works and interpretations coming from different places around the world. Even during the lockdown, the modern technology made it possible for different artists to make a connection via Oswalt's melody.
With the ongoing threats and fears the coronavirus is causing, I came up with an idea to compose a somewhat dark and somber ambient soundscape, where my interpretation of Oswalt's original melody can be heard in the distant, eerie sounds of a piano. While the lingering soundscapes of verweilen represent the looming threats of the pandemic, I also hope my music gives solace to the listeners.
Luckily enough, the first sound installation event of Art has to be contagious including a world premiere of verweilen was succesfully executed in late September 2020 at SWT-Kulturwerk in Tübingen, Germany, before the pandemic again took a quick turn to worse around the world. Now, as I write this in December 2020, the pandemic situation is still very difficult. As there are plans for further sound installation events of Art has to be contagious, the future with the pandemic is still uncertain.
Now, with the release of verweilen on streaming platforms, I hope my music keeps establishing connections and perhaps finds new audiences during the difficult time we live in at the moment. Please follow the minisite below for the links to the streaming platforms of your choice. Let's stay healthy and safe!