Aus Vierundzwanzig

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“Aus vierundzwanzig- ‘Out of Twenty-Four’
Since 2009 the composer Uwe Rasch has been working on a body of works called ‘Out of Twenty-Four’ (aus vierundzwanzig). It is a contemporary adaptation of Franz Schubert’s original 1827 song cycle, “Die Winterreise”.

This project is about a modern, creative and, at the same time, poetic retrospective and interpretation, which accesses, at times, structural, compositional and conceptual features of the original model and, at others, the wealth of available connotations of Wilhelm Müller’s original texts in Schubert’s musical version.

Formally, it is a modular system, which is connected associatively and materialistically, yet there is no such strict linearity.

As a result, overtime a conglomeration emerged – a mound of material, according to Rasch. It was a hotchpotch of videos, animations, photos, collages, choreographies, texts, audio clips and instrumental compositions.

Hence, in terms of movement, scenery, substance, physicality, mediumship and artistic expression we encounter somewhat different elements, which correspond and comment on each other in such a compilation of multimedia.

The marginalisation and societal isolation of the self is one of the central thoughts to which the modules consistently relate. For Uwe Rasch, it is not a romantic theme, nor romantic melancholy, but rather the prosaic reality of our time: I act on the assumption of a selective misunderstanding of the romantic approach: the disappointed romantic love offers no cause for this work and Wilhelm Müller’s texts only generate more of an associated framework, a springboard or even a contradiction in the search for music. The activity is being assumed: pointless wanderings of a shaken human in a city. That comes together with the reality of strays, the homeless, tramps, street children and how all such titles are brought together under one umbrella: the cold, cruel life of those who have no permanent abode. (Uwe Rasch)

This is expressed through different products of mediumship, such as the three searching, disorientated and helplessly exposed dance figures that rotate on the ground whilst wrapped in poor material (cardboard, polystyrene and plastic).

The figures are not defined- their faces and sexes remain obscure. Uwe Rasch, as with his earlier works, concerns himself with the causalities between movement/body and music/art, as well as with the exploration of the limits of physical capacity. Out of this he develops his musical (theatre) modules.

Complex and layered experimental designs stand alongside simple scenes: for example, a bottle recycling machine that swallows glass bottles – a cynical commentary on Schubert’s song ‘The Inn’.

Themes such as the recurring blue flower, materials, objects of sound, and audio-visual installations establish places of association. It is then through such themes that the free combination and interconnection of differing modules become possible.

Irrational size ratios, trimmed room dimensions and surreal perspectives create distance and foreignness, although the concrete materials are familiar to everyone. Uwe Rasch’s works have a refreshing personal touch and a charm to the- he prefers an easy-going, visionary access to the material. The artistic work-process resembles a ‘playing around’ with components of both the culture of entertainment and those of a more high-brow significance, with grotesque and surreal sets, and with simple or either difficult production techniques. The political power in Schubert’s “Winterreise” expresses itself too in ‘Out of Twenty-Four’ through the subtleness, profoundness, gentility and sensuality of the work. It is a kind of ‘conclusion’ that takes stock of the own works, societal ethos and morals as well as the plight of those people who are being marginalised by society and pushed to its edge by modern times.”