Examining the word com-posing, we find the term with [Latin: com] right in the prefix. In essence, my practice is an activity: as an artist I do something – often with others. When I refer to my practice, I am referring to composing, performing, and conducting artistic research, mainly in the field of music theatre and scenic music in the most inclusive sense. My interest is to compose music with space, or, I could say, space with music. What kind of relationship or activity could be described by the preposition with? In my presentation, I will go over several levels, or stages, of the way I understand and use ‘with‘. These stages are not separate perspectives; rather, one stage flows into the other as they intersect with each other. Together, they interact and form a systemic structure – an ecosystem of music. Looking into ecosystem ecology, I can further systematise my findings. The discourse about the necessity of this paradigmatic change intensifies considering the pandemic crisis and the state of the Earth. In the Anthropocene, it could be that the picture is not complete without our personal stories. Thus, the with turns into a personal and intimate urgency. Arguments from ecosystem ecology bring further insights about the manifold interconnections in my practice, and enlighten the process of decision making in times of complexity. For composers, decision making is a key resource in their practice.
(Photo by Maria Frodl)