How free can music be? Musicians, thinkers and artists dealt with this question in a variety of contexts in the twentieth century. Music should be free and should be freed again and again: freed of the restrictions that tonality or notational systems impose upon it, freed of the limitations of conventional instruments. Musical means and forms were radically expanded, for example by free improvisation, through experiments with sounds as musically malleable materials and innovative sound-makers.
However, the central theme of Free! Music is not just efforts made to liberate it with regard to compositional goals and musical experiments. The theme days also deal with the role played by music during political upheavals and social emancipation movements. And, finally, they are also about “free” music – music available no cost.
HKW curator Detlef Diederichsen examines the operating systems of music and the music industry over the past 100 years and pursues leitmotifs of pop history from unexpected perspectives. For Free! Music he is collaborating with the musicologist, author and radio journalist for New Music Björn Gottstein, the current chief curator of the Donaueschingen Music Festival. In 2009, Gottstein co-curated the Audio Poverty theme days at HKW.
With Louis Moholo-Moholo, Conlon Nancarrow, Baloji, Harry Partch, Ornament & Verbrechen, Egyptian Females Experimental Music Session, Rastig/Drescher/Rasmussen, Ensemble Musikfabrik, El Ombligo, Lautari, and many others.
Part of 100 Years of Now