Gerald Fiebig: Chords of Shame

Am 5. Februar 2020 ließ sich der FDP-Politiker Thomas Kemmerich mit Stimmen der AfD zum Ministerpräsidenten von Thüringen wählen. Während Georg Katzer in seiner Radiokomposition „Mein 1989“ (1990) des demokratischen Aufbruchs in der DDR musikalisch gedenkt, gemahnt mein Stück an einen Tiefpunkt der Demokratie im wiedervereinigten Deutschland. Die im Titel benannten „Akkorde der Schande“ (der Titel ist eine Anleihe bei dem Song „Chords of Fame“ von Phil Ochs) bestehen aus einem beim Umbau meines Studios versehentlich entstandenen Störgeräusch, das mit Resonatoren auf Basis der Töne A, F, D sowie auf Basis der Töne F und D in einer anderen Tonlage gefiltert wurde. Das „P“ von „FDP“ wird durch einen anderen Teil des Noise-Artefakts repräsentiert. Ursprünglich sollten die Akkorde mit besonders geschmacklosen Synthesizer-Presets eingespielt werden, doch der elektroakustische Glitch erwies sich dann als konzeptionell noch besser geeignet, um einen sogenannten „Betriebsunfall“ des Parlamentarismus musikalisch zu thematisieren. Die kompositorische Kernidee des Vertonens von Parteinamen verdanke ich dem Stück „fck a f d“ von elektrojudas (https://elektrojudas.bandcamp.com/track/fck-a-f-d). Die Anregung zu der für viele meiner Arbeiten grundlegenden Methode, Bedeutung tragende Buchstaben und abstrakte Notenwerte in symbolische Bezüge zu setzen, verdanke ich dem Essay „Schrift und Klang in experimenteller Musik und Literatur“ (Zeitschrift für experimentelle Musik, Heft 2, März 1985) von Hans Rudolf Zeller, der wie Georg Katzer 2019 verstorben ist.

Thomas Kemmerich, a politician of the German Liberal Democratic Party (FDP), was elected prime minister of Thuringia with the help of votes from the right-wing populist AfD party. While Georg Katzer remembers the democratic departure of the GDR in his radio composition „Mein 1989“ (1990), my piece is a memorial for the rock bottom of democracy in reunited Germany. The „Chords of Shame“ mentioned in its title (borrowed from the song „Chords of Fame“ by Phil Ochs) consist of a disturbing noise, generated by mistake while renovating my studio, and filtered with resonators based on the tones A, F, D and F and D as well at a different register. The P of FDP is represented by a different part of the noise artefact. Originally, the chords were to be played with synthesizer presets of rather bad taste, but the electroacoustic glitch proved to be better suited to focus on an „operational accident“ of parlamentarianism. The compositional core idea of scoring the names of political parties I owe ro the piece „fck a f d“ by elektrojudas (https://elektrojudas.bandcamp.com/track/fck-a-f-d). The motivation for constructing symbolic connections between abstract note values and letters full of meaning I owe to the essay „Schrift und Klang in experimenteller Musik und Literatur“ (in: Zeitschrift für experimentelle Musik, vol. 2, March 1985) by Hans Rudolf Zeller, who died in 2019, like Georg Katzer.

title: DEGEM CD 18: 20_20
release date: 30.09.2020
artist: various artists
order no.: ed09
time: 76:01 min
full colour digipak with 6-panel fold out booklet in german and english. Curated by Stefan Fricke, produced and designed by Marc Behrens. 1000 copies.

Available from aufabwegen mailorder.
Price: 13,00 euro

DEGEM CD 18: 20_20
2020 is (was) a dramatic year. This is (was) evident already in its first few weeks. Fears, worries, hardships everywhere, even panic, utter helplessness, but also disgraceful ignorance and arrogance towards the perceiveable dangers around us, which continue to increase and diversify steadily, having already taken the lives of hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. This number, which increases daily, this number, which cannot describe the suffering and death of each single human being, this alarming number draws perpetually closer. Much has been (is being) consumed by this, been (is being) laid idle, much (leads) has lead to great existential afflictions. 20_20 – subject and title of the DEGEM CD 18 – records, documents, abstracts (and intervenes against) this situation, these situations, this network of situations, which is, of course, far more extensive and detailed than music could ever encompass. Nevertheless: The CD collects a many-voiced selection of aesthetic statements as hindsights, as previsions, dystopian / utopian / resigning / courageous / protesting / alarming / optimistic / comforting /… /… that react to incidents, experiences, and the severe events in the still ongoing calendar year 2020: Beethoven 250, the continuous destruction of environment and democratic values, the pandemic. This CD is dedicated to the memory of Georg Katzer, pioneer of electroacoustic music in the German Democratic Republic and long-time honorary member of DEGEM, who died on 7 May 2019 at the age of 84 years. In his radio pieces Mon 1789 (1989) and Mein 1989 (1990), the illumination and scrutiny of two important revolutionary years in contemporary history is both impressive and riveting.
With contributions from Marc Behrens, Gerald Fiebig, KedArY, Jörg Lindenmaier, Nicola L. Hein/Joshua Weitzel, Clemens von Reusner, Maximilian Marcoll, Wolfgang Motz, Monika Golla, Peter Kiefer, Klarenz Barlow, Julia Mihály, Ralf Hoyer and Johannes S. Sistermanns.

Sustained Development: Organ Transplant

An organ improvisation played at Mecklenburgisches Orgelmuseum in Malchow, Germany, complete with ambient sounds from the museum in a former church, edited and overlaid several times to get those microtones swinging. / Eine Orgelimprovisation, eingespielt im Mecklenburgischen Orgelmuseum in Malchow, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, mit Umgebungsgeräuschen von den Besuchern des Museums in einer ehemaligen Kirche, wurde geschnitten und mehrfach überlagert, um die Mikrotöne in Bewegung zu bringen.