cresc...Images of Sound

Music and Film / Helmut Lachenmann 8O

Film and music are interwoven, although the characteristics of the two forms are based on very different preconditions. While music as an art form was bound up in archaic dimensions in its beginnings, inspired by phenomena of nature such as the twittering of birds, film is a child of early »modernism« and growing technical innovation. Since the birth of film, music has exerted considerable influence over it – as an accompanying medium and acoustic equivalent when movies were silent, and as acoustic illustration and emotional intensification or sublimation once sound film arrived. Sound then reflected the feelings and inner life of the protagonists or provided a counterpoint, given its ability to develop its own creative qualities. However, apart from singular highlights, such as Stanley Kubrick’s ›2001: A Space Odyssey‹ which featured music by György Ligeti, among others, the relationship between New Music and film played a supporting role at best. This is due not least to the fact that film is first and foremost a commercially oriented medium, while New Music has at least a conflicted relationship with prevalent market mechanisms, including advertising and mass consumption. In artistic terms, however, their relations can be extremely interesting. ›Images of Sound‹ is the motto of the festival ›cresc... Biennale für Moderne Musik Frankfurt Rhein Main‹, which takes place from November 26 to 29, 2015 and demonstrates the fascination and many facets of this interplay of music and film.

Highlights include the opening concert of the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra at the Alte Oper Frankfurt, featuring Stanley Kubrick’s masterwork ›2001: A Space Odyssey‹, and the final concert of Ensemble Modern at the Frankfurt LAB, featuring world premieres of audio-visual works by Simon Steen-Andersen and Michael Beil. These will be flanked by four world premieres of inter-medial music film works by young composers and filmmakers under the name ›Quadruplets‹.

The festival has a second focus as well, with several concerts by the two distinguished ensembles honouring the composer Helmut Lachenmann on the occasion of his 80th birthday. Key works for large orchestrations are joined by a Lachenmann world premiere. The combination of the thematic focus on ›Music and Film‹ with ›Helmut Lachenmann 80‹ may seem daring at first glance, since Lachenmann’s tonal idiom seems determined to avoid the functional criteria typical for film music. However, as abstract as his method of »concrete instrumental sound composition« (»musique concrète instrumentale«), with its sound-world that is wide open to the realm of noise and experimental sounds, may seem, it is balanced by extremely intense tracing of deep dimensions of the soul, which allows »images« to arise before the listener’s inner eye. In this context, there are indeed higher-level correspondences between image and sound, and they lend this year’s festival cresc... special acuity. 



The metropolitan area Frankfurt Rhine-Main is not only one of the most important economic centres in Europe, but with its great variety of outstanding cultural offers it is also one of the most important cultural regions in Europe. In the New Music sector, the Rhine-Main region also looks back on a rich tradition and offers enormous vitality.

For the biennial festival cresc..., co-initiated and made possible by the Cultural Fund Frankfurt RheinMain, high-class cultural institutions from the region join forces: ›cresc...‹ has been conceived as a leading forum for modern music. From key works of the 20th and 21st century to world premieres by young composers, every two years it presents a broad spectrum of various artistic approaches, positions and perspectives exploring our current times. Drawing upon the high profile of the Ensemble Modern and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra as well as high-carat guest ensembles, cresc... joins the ranks of international festivals.

›cresc... Biennale für Moderne Musik Frankfurt Rhein Main‹ is a festival presented by Ensemble Modern and the Frankfurt Radio Symphony Orchestra in cooperation with the International Music Institute Darmstadt and the Alte Oper Frankfurt.

In cooperation with the Darmstadt State Theatre, the Wiesbaden State Theatre, the Institute for Contemporary Music at the Frankfurt Academy of Music and Performing Arts, the City of Hanau, the City of Rüsselsheim, the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, the Frankfurter Bürgerstiftung, the German Film Museum, the Museum Wiesbaden, Kulturamt Wiesbaden Caligari FilmBühne and the International Ensemble Modern Academy.