Rebecca Saunders

in portrait

»What I’m interested in is the transition between non-sound and something concrete, the transition from silence into silence, from noise into sound.« Rebecca Saunders (b. 1967) is a master of effective progressive tension and expansive sound architecture. Her music is characterized by a great variety of sound nuances, unusual playing techniques, variable spatial impressions and original textures. Her unique sound idiom makes the Berlin-based British composer one of the leading proponents of her generation of composers. Ensemble Modern dedicates a portrait concert to Rebecca Saunders which will be performed at the Ruhrtriennale in Essen (August 25, 2018), at Klangspuren Schwaz in Innsbruck (September 14, 2018) and the Southbank Centre in London (January 19, 2019). Under Vimbayi Kaziboni’s baton, Ensemble Modern presents three characteristic works by the composer. She likes to preface her scores with dictionary definitions of their titles: ›a visible trace‹: paths, tracks and clues, hints, following and imitating. ›Fury II‹ is the extension for chamber ensemble of a major solo piece for double bass (Paul Cannon, double bass). ›Fury‹: not only an outburst of anger, but also a force of nature, such as a storm or epidemic; the raging of madmen and furies. ›Skin‹: a taut, elastic, sealed layer around a body or on top of a fluid or solid substance; a fine membrane separating inside and out; to touch, but also to peel, to remove fur; to get under one’s skin, to irritate, stimulate, remain; skin as a metaphor for transience. ›Skin‹ was created in intense collaboration with the soprano Juliet Fraser, who now takes on the solo part.