International Festival and Academy for New Composition and Audio-Art

13th – 17th December 2014

avantgarde tirol - new music on a high level


Boguslaw Schaeffer

Boguslaw Schaeffer
The importance of New Music

We need New Music to transfer ourselves into a new auditory world. Again and again we are presented with music from the past that was intended for quite a different audience. And we know that the composers themselves were not happy with the state of affairs, infact quite the opposite.

We are presented with pieces of so-called classical music in abundance. This is due to industrial mass-reproduction, which means incomes for producers - as well as re-producers of course, according to consumer demand. On the other hand, who knows what these consumers would wish for if things were different.

We are presented with all manner of music - except for New Music, which is to be found in a ridiculously small amount somewhere among unusable editions and CDs (if these are to be found at all), and which, consequently, are unknown to anyone.

We need New Music to gather new musical experience. Our irrational dialogue with artists of the past is useless, for we already know what they have to say. They would not understand our new lives, no matter what forms these have or might have. On the other hand, we would not understand the lives of their times, even if we were to get to know them. So why do we cling to music's past? Maeterlinck says that the past is always present. The past is there, even without our direct involvement, in culture, legacy, or good example. However, why should we be educated and taught by it? After all, the past is not the only good era. We have to know that there will always be some creative people who are able to express themselves culturally and thus keep things in movement.

We need New Music because today there are more possibilities than ever before for both New Music and ourselves, due to technical progress, new stylistic and aesthetic discoveries. New Music gives us the opportunity to see music different ways than were hitherto possible.

Today, one has more liberties than ever in composing. There are no boundaries, no rules. New Music can be composed in every respect: form, style, aesthetic, compositional means, inner structure, and use of material. In other words, music can be written or created in a manner that not only a Bach, Beethoven or Debussy were able to write, but also a Schönberg, Messiaen or Nono just to name a few of the most impressive composers.

We need New Music to move forward. We learn and experience not only for the present, but also for the future and the approaching millennium. It is an immense enrichment to see that even with the latest means human, expressive and emotional, music can be created. I would never have liked to teach if I was not deeply convinced of this.

Boguslaw Schaeffer

is a composer, dramatist, and graphic designer.
He is professor for instrumental composition at the Music Academy in Krakau, at the Mozarteum in Salzburg and since 1993 also at the International Academy for New Composition and Audio-Art in Tirol.
Since the year 2000 he is the artistic director of the composers workshop of the avantgarde Academy.

April 1998
© Boguslaw Schaeffer
Published in the programme of the "avantgarde tirol 1999"

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