© connect, 2023 © Wonge Bergmann


The audience as artist

›CONNECT – The Audience as Artist‹ dissolves hierarchies between audience and performers, focusing particularly on the audience. The pan-European initiative enabled by the Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne began in 2016 as a cooperation between four leading contemporary music ensembles – Ensemble Modern, London Sinfonietta, Asko|Schönberg and Remix Ensemble – and first took place that year. The goal of the project is to explore the relation between composer, musician and audience anew, enabling the audience to play a participatory role.

For its third edition in 2021, Catherine Milliken was commissioned to write a new work. The Australian-born composer and oboist, once a founding member of Ensemble Modern, has been composing musical theatre works, instrumental and chamber music, radio plays, installations, theatre and film music since 1990. With ›Night Shift - The Rehearsal‹ Cathy Milliken composes an evening in which the audience becomes the actor. "Participation is the first duty of the audience", when they create a poetic world together with the performers on this evening, dreaming and overcoming boundaries. The world premiere took place with Ensemble Modern on September 1, 2021 at Berlin’s Philharmonie as part of the Musikfest Berlin. Further performances will take place with the Ensemble Modern in 2023 at the festival cresc... - Biennale für aktuelle Musik Frankfurt Rhein Main and at the Kölner Philharmonie.

The impressive effect derived solely from the humming chorus of the audience in the sold-out hall was remarkable.Offenbach-Post, Sebastian Krämer
In the multi-media show ‘Melencolia’ by Brigitta Muntendorf and Moritz Lobeck, the Ensemble Modern’s soloists shine.Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Reinhard Kager
The average age at Cologne’s Philharmonie (March 5) seems like an estimated 12 years, the atmosphere is boisterous, but the children remain attentive even during almost 45 minutes of New Music.neue musikzeitung, Christoph Becher
During the concert after the interval, these dry runs are combined with music. Like the underlying text, William Shakespeare’s ‘Midsummer Night’s Dream’ and one of his sonnets, Cathy Milliken’s composition involves the participation of laypeople. […] All this in a moderately modern tonal idiom, including sprechgesang and onomatopoeia, clearly structured and gauged by Stockhammer, breath-takingly articulated by Aszodi and Schiefel.Offenbach-Post, Markus Terharn
[…] overflowing in form and colour, imaginative, witty and rich in associations. Most of all, it is a homage to Ensemble Modern, the instrumental abilities of these enthusiastic musicians, who also act, in costumes and long-haired wigs, speaking and singing as well.Schwäbische Zeitung Sigmaringen, Katharina von Glasenapp
// Videos

CONNECT - The audience as artist, 2021 (Trailer)