Maryanne Amacher: GLIA
Paranoia. Limit Experiences of Electronic Music in the Context of Iannis Xenakis’ Work
Thu, May 31, 2012 8 pm CEST, Concert
In 2006, Maryanne Amacher created a new work for the Berlin ensemble »Zwischentöne« [Nuances]. This work, conceived for up to seven or eight instruments and »electronics« represents an exception in her otherwise predominantly installation and electronic oriented oeuvre. The work bearing the title »GLIA« (named after the glial cells in the brain that control the transmission of stimuli between the synapses) was performed once in the Berlin multimedia center TESLA. This first exhibition was (still) instructed and supervised by Amacher herself in collaboration with the former director of the ensemble »Zwischentöne«, Peter Ablinger, as well as with current director Bill Dietz.

In »GLIA«, Amacher imagines the audience as a kind of glial cell representing the interface between the electronic and acoustic-instrumental elements of the work. In a narrower sense, she imagined the »otoacoustic emissions« (the sounds within the ear radiating once again from the electronic devices and instruments as if »by magic«) emerging in the audience’s ears as precisely this »neural interface«.

This corresponds to the same approach Amacher had previously intended with her piece for the Kronos Quartett in the 1990s which was never performed (and probably never completed). In fact, the material for this string quartet had been partly newly arranged for »GLIA«. After the Berlin premier, Amacher returned to Kingston / New York, and took home with her all the material for the performance of this work. In 2009, the »Zwischentöne« ensemble invited Amacher to return to Berlin to further develop »GLIA«. Unexpectedly, Amacher tragically died shortly before this planned reencounter.
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