Saturday August 17 2013 Doors Open at 20:30 / 21:00 Concert Sharp!

Logothetis Ensemble / Vasana String Trio

Vasana String trio starts at 21:00 Sharp!
Doors Open at 20:30
Please come on time!

Scores by Anestis Logothetis (1921-1994)
Music by The Logothetis Ensemble (Werner Durand, Richard Douglas-Green, Michael McInerney and Michael Neil)

Anestis Logothetis (1921 – 1994) was one of the first – and remains one of the finest – artists to work simultaneously in the auditory and visual domains. His drawings take their start from Western traditions of musical notation before moving out into feasts of virtuosic penmanship. As scores, these images identify every aspect of the musical work which accompanies them, whilst remaining open to new technological developments.

Blending acoustic, electro-acoustic and computer-generated resources, the Logothetis Ensemble creates a rich and satisfying tapestry of sound. As each piece is performed, the appropriate drawings are projected on the screens above, providing that rare experience, a truly unified audio-visual event.

The Logothetis Project

The Greek/Austrian composer Anestis Logothetis was the forefather of contemporary electro-acoustic audio-visual art. After finding a new way of working with notation and sound in 1959, he developed a relationship between music and the visual which gave rise to a body of extraordinary works – electronic compositions, chamber and orchestral works, an opera which has not yet been fully realised as a live performance, and several hundred amazing scores.

It is the scores which form the core of his extraordinary oeuvre. From the composition in 1959 of Struktur/Textur/Spiegel/Spiel onwards, he worked with a new notational paradigm which he had devised, a paradigm which, in his own words, created ‘an equivalence between the visual and acoustic’ (‘though literally speaking, such an equivalence is not physically possible’) *. Logothetis’ achievement was to approach the acts of writing to and reading from musical performance in a totally new way so that the score might ‘sustain a high level of representational accuracy, at least in the visualisation/representation of internal sonic movement,’ whilst preserving ‘interpretative flexibility’ *.

Not only that, but they look beautiful. Logothetis was also a gifted visual artist and he worked at his scores in the same way a visual artist might – making layouts and sketches before completing the final illustration. The results are almost as nourishing to the eye as their realisation in sound is to the ear.

And this is where the Logothetis Project ensemble take their cue: we work painstakingly – taking resources from recent technological development and our own electronic and acoustic practices – to find a sonic event which is rich and evocative whilst remaining faithful to every nuance of Herr Logothetis’ pen. Then, in performance, beautiful drawing (projected on screens behind us) and live sonic realisation (using all the resources of today – laptops, synthesised choirs, live sound manipulation and live interface between acoustic instruments and electronic technology) are presented simultaneously. It is a simple idea, and a strong one: the Logothetis Project ensemble – despite the frequent density of its soundworld – allows time for patient reflection on the links between the visual design and its sonic realisation. It is the experience of hovering in that uncertain mimetic field which forms the exquisite kernel of the aesthetic experience that these events make possible.

The ensemble has the imprimatur of the artist’s daughter, Julia Spitzer-Logothetis. A painter of considerable reputation in her native Vienna, Julia sees the support and continued promotion of her father’s neglected legacy as part of her life’s work. She supports my work as a scholar and artist, and regards my research and the work that I am doing with the Logothetis Ensemble as the most faithful approach to the musical aspirations of her father.

Each of the four artists working in this ensemble is an expert performer/composer/ sound artist in his own right.

Further details can be found on the website

The Vasana String Trio was formed in 2012 in Berlin, born of the desire to create original string music with an approach that emphasizes the personal vision of the performers in addition to the composer. The pieces in Vasana’s repertoire are predominantly composed by the bassist of the group, Adam Goodwin, but each involves a great deal of personal interpretation and input from the performers, juxtaposing traditionally notated segments with graphic notation, spatial notation, and all out free improvisation. The members of the trio are all active improvisers as well as skilled classical and contemporary players, so the music can move freely from composed material to improvisation with no discernable gap in quality or intention.

The name “Vasana” suggests patterns which are created from past activities, and as such the music of Vasana represents trends and approaches to musical performance spanning throughout the history of stringed instruments to the present day. These imprints from the past are still present, but do not suppress the incessant urge to explore and expand into new territory.

The musical output of Vasana represents a vast array of influences, ranging from Scelsi to LaMonte Young to sludge metal, all the while shifting color according to the particular performance situation. The result is at times subtle and meditative, and at other moments ferocious and frightening. Harmonically, the compositions explore various approaches to tuning, including microtonal clusters, pure ratio tuning, and quartal and quintal harmonies. At other times, a lyrical and not-so-distant melody might arise out of a sound mass, only to dissolve back into a buzzing bed of insect sounds. In terms of rhythm, “Umweg,” for instance, is a polymetric piece, requiring all of the performers to play in different time signatures for the duration of the piece. “Wanderlust,” on the other hand, is spatially notated and requires the use of performer cues to signal the arrival of a new section. And of course, all of this may be altered at the discretion of the performers, who have as much or more control over the resulting music as the composer.

Our current program includes just over one hour of music, including solos, duos, and trios performed by the members of Vasana. The pieces were all written over the span of the last five years, mostly specifically for the Vasana Trio.

The members of the Vasana Trio are:

Makiho Yoshida, violin

Hui-Chun Lin, cello

Adam Goodwin, contrabass