Tiere sitzen nicht | Enno Poppe and Wolfgang Heiniger

Behind the project  „Tiere sitzen nicht“ (Animals don’t sit) hides the idea to abrogate the common procedure of commissioned works – a composer composes over a longer period at the desk, delivers the work, the ensemble rehearses and plays the premiere – and to create a work that emerges from the intense cooperation between composer and ensemble. By this means a new creative mode of operation was brought into being, which invalidates the functional hierarchy of creator and performer.

The exceptional production process, which lasted over one year, resulted in a feature-length stage work, which shortly after its premiere on the 22th of November 2009 in Cologne went on tour and experienced further shows in Amsterdam (Muziekgebouw aan ’t IJ), at the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival and Maerzmusik.

The cooperation between composers and performers started in the middle of 2008. Enno Poppe and Wolfgang Heiniger met with the soloists of Ensemble Musikfabrik and discussed the course of action and possible operation methods on whose basis the composition was developed. In numerous single sessions with the musicians the composers acquainted themselves with the musicians’ special instrumental skills and playing techniques and got to know various of their extraordinary secondary instruments.  At the same time Enno Poppe and Wolfgang Heiniger began, together with a sound engineer and the percussionists and pianists of Ensemble Musikfabrik, to test the employment of live electronics.

Besides his familiar main and secondary instrument, every musician plays about 10 percussion instruments and one or two keyboards as well. The subtitle of the composition “Bühnenmusik für 200 Instrumente” (Stage music for 200 instruments) therefore is no exaggeration. Actually, if one recounts, there are even more than 200 instruments on the stage. As a result, the instruments are not only used for the production of music. At the same time they constitute the stage design in which the musicians are moving around.

The creative process is documented by three recordings of the rehearsals:

TIERE SITZEN NICHT - Impressions 1

TIERE SITZEN NICHT - Impressions 2

TIERE SITZEN NICHT - Impressions 3