On Monday, September 8, at 20h, the pianist Moritz Ernst will play the world premiere of Sandeep Bhagwati’s three movement work “Tenerenmente” for prepared piano [ca.21 min].
This will be part of Concert&Discussion in the off-Beethovenfest Bonn, in the PostTower Lounge. Platz der Deutschen Post 1, 53113 Bonn. Free Entry.
Three memorials for prepared piano
“tener en mente” in Spanish means “to keep in mind” – and the three movements of this work all, in different ways, engage with memory: in “Stele”, the memorial stone, music and life inscribe themselves deeper and deeper by each moment into a hard, inflexible pulse – and thereby transforms it. In “Mneme” (also the name of the antique Greek muse of memory), we encounter a melos and the impossibility of re-living it unchanged – it eludes us and thereby gives rise to new sensations. In “Nerve”, finally, memory is like a raw nerve: Even the most desperate attempts to cover it up with activism, inventiveness and new perspectives – fail. The thing that bothers us will simply not go away into oblivion.
The prepared piano embodies the ambivalence between memory and forgetting: half of its strings are prepared, making them sound different, alien, elusive, dry. They create, around the familiar and present piano sounds, a realm of shadows and potentialities – the forgotten, the remembered, the never realized.
Each of these three movements also is dedicated to some of my private artistic “heroes”, by creating a blurry memory of their musical language. “Stele” is for John Cage and Merce Cunningham, “Mneme” for my teacher Wilhelm Killmayer, and “Nerve” for Zakir Hussain and Shivkumar Sharma