Free Music: Theme Days with Concerts, Films, Performances, Talks

Baloji | © Promo

How free can music be? This question has occupied musicians, thinkers, and artists within different contexts throughout the 20th century. Free from the restrictions of tonality, functional harmony, formal specifications, and the customary, well-tempered instruments. Free from current fashions, functionality, and the pressure of commercial success. And finally from the expectations of the critics and public. In the history of Western music, musical means of expression and their formal framework have been radically transformed on numerous occasions.

However the central theme of Free! Music is not just the liberation efforts with respect to compositional goals and musical experiments. The theme days also address the role of music in political upheavals and social emancipation movements, while also including the crisis of the music industry’s business model in the age of “free downloads”.

"Free! Music" is opened by Patrick Frank’s theory opera “Freiheit – Die eutopische Gesellschaft”, followed by the Ensemble Musikfabrik’s rendition of the compositions of the great instrument builder and pioneer of microtonality, Harry Partch. In East Berlin in the 1980s Ornament & Verbrechen experimented with noise music, Electro, and Industrial, through to Free Jazz. In a rare live performance in this formation, the band closes the first day’s program.

With his festival program Detlef Diederichsen, Director of the HKW’s Department of Music and Performance, explores music and the music industry’s operating systems of the last 100 years, tracing the leitmotifs of pop history from unexpected perspectives. In 2016, within the framework of the long-term project "100 Years of Now" he developed "Singing War" (together with Holger Schulze) and "Pop 16". He is the curator of "Free! Music" together with the music scholar, author, and radio reporter for New Music Björn Gottstein, currently Artistic Director of the Donaueschingen Music Festival. In 2009 Gottstein was the co-curator of the theme days “Audio Poverty”. From November 09-12, 2017, follows "No! Music", curated by Detlef Diederichsen together with Martin Hossbach, curator of the Berlin festival Pop-Kultur.

With Baloji, Ensemble Musikfabrik, Egyptian Females Experimental Music Session, El Ombligo, Patrick Frank, Johannes Kreidler, Lautari, Louis Moholo-Moholo, Conlon Nancarrows Player Piano, Ornament & Verbrechen and others

A project within the framework of 100 Years of Now.
The Haus der Kulturen der Welt is supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media as well as by the Federal Foreign Office.

Free! Music
Theme days with concerts, performances, films, talks
April 6 - 9, 2017
Opening on April 6, 2017, from 6pm
Concerts: Evening tickets € 13 / € 10, festival pass: € 30
Films, panels, installations, audio and video stations, performances: Admission free.

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