The last project phases of the transnational and EU-funded programme, Composer Collider Europe, could not be carried out as originally planned. While all closing concerts at The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Royal Conservatoire The Hague, and HfMT Köln had to be canceled, a series of final rehearsals and recordings could take place in Cologne in November with some students participating remotely, others in presence. In what follows, the active composers of the last project phase share their reflections on working with the ensemble, professors, and other composition students. Check out the project website for further documentation material and the students’ full field reports.
Even if things turned out unexpectedly different in the end, I consider myself more than lucky having had the chance to work for three years in such an ideal environment. I hope that the project will continue existing, giving the opportunity to as many composers as possible to experience the higher artistic results arising through long term artistic interactions.
Antonis Rouvelas, The Aristotle University of Thessaloniki
My active phase as a composer in CCE had to be conducted remotely because of the Covid-19 crisis. The other active composers and I had individual meetings with the musicians in late April and early May. In June we had an ensemble rehearsal, which was somewhat difficult to do as a video conference, but I still got helpful feedback and the rehearsal was recorded.
Wesley Troeger, Royal Conservatoire The Hague
Like everyone else, I was very excited when I learned that I could join CCE and work with Ensemble Musikfabrik. And just as expected, they always strived for perfection and are willing to provide composers with the possibilities as much as possible. I learned lots of things from them, not only about skills of music but also their attitude towards music.
Menghao Xie, Hochschule für Musik und Tanz Köln
From the word go, it has been as though the word ‘no’ doesn’t exist. Even when asking questions I’d heard the answer (‘no’) to before, I was being met with responses akin to, ‘oh hang on, I’m going to need a bit of time with that.’ I have honestly never come across an ensemble in which each and every member is so selflessly devoted to the practice and realisation of new music before. There has been a near-continuous dialogue between composers and players and the fruits of that are in the music. Collectively, we have formed the sorts of memories that will last a lifetime and I will miss everybody dearly moving forward.
Bethan Morgan-Williams, Royal Conservatoire The Hague
Stay tuned for the final results of Composer Collider Europe: recordings and spielBar videos will soon be presented on the project website.
Supported by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union
Pictures from the project phase in Cologne in spring 2019 © Janet Sinica