Toni Völker (* 1948)

Sirenengesänge I, II, III

T. Völker: Sirenengesänge I, II, III, Git (0)T. Völker: Sirenengesänge I, II, III, Git (1)
Auteur / Componist:
32 pagina’s; 22,5 × 30,5 cm
Uitgever / Producent:
Productie nr.:
FH 3180


The Sirens, first mentioned in Homer, attracted passing sailors not only by their songs of indescribable beauty, but above all by their ability to know and reveal everything that happens on earth. Like the beauty of that seductive song, human music, in its many forms, awakens a longing for sound, perhaps for implied content and form, as well as for that which can no longer be communicated by words and yet touches us existentially.

A different, perhaps newer kind of beauty is revealed in the Siren Songs through the use, connection and tonal interweaving of so-called residual "edge sounds" such as double-tone taps, flageolets, glassy-sounding sliding steel impulses or glissandi and many other mixed combinations of sound and noise. The Siren Songs II, in particular, allow for highly divergent listening experiences due to the two-part plectron, sliding steel or fingernail glissandi, which are often at the lower edge of audibility, and the violent, often furious chord or interval changes, which are completely separated from them gesturally and dynamically, culminating in the independence of the right and left hands (m.57, presto e molto e forte possibile). The Siren Songs I, II, III could also be interpreted as "3 scenes" - based on images from Homer with completely different structures, especially in gesture, formal progression and playing technique. While Odysseus, tied to the mast of the ship, listens to the sirens, Orpheus manages to take up his lyre and sing more beautifully and louder than the birds of death. Each of the 3 siren songs has its own colour and dramaturgy.

This means that the 3 pieces can be played either as a contrasting cycle or as individual solos. While Siren Songs I and III use established playing techniques, Siren Songs II uses a completely different, often elementary, but also very subtle sound, made possible by the use of plectron, sliding steel, "quasi arco" of the fingernails as well as tapping.

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