YOUNG STARS. COMICS. CARTOONS. GRAFFITI! Under this motto, the 23rd edition of the Tyrolean Festival of New Music, which took place from 09/08 to 09/25/2016, presented a new generation of composers and musicians who take an unbiased approach to musical history and its avant-gardes and express themselves through deconstruction, irony, humor, “performance”, and the processing of the pop culture codes found in comics, manga, cartoons, and graffiti. KLANGSPUREN 2016 offered an immensely colorful, lively, at times boldly striking international program that received an extremely positive response from audiences and overwhelming approval from the media. Held at various festival venues, the 24 concerts and special events (29 including the individual short concerts of the pilgrimage) attracted approximately 3,200 visitors.


The 13th annual KLANGSPUREN INTERNATIONALE ENSEMBLE MODERN ACADEMY with young musicians from all over the world took place this year in a greatly expanded form and presented the entire range of the International Ensemble Modern Academy (IEMA), which was created for young musicians thirteen years ago by Ensemble Modern. The opening concert was played by the Ensemble Modern Orchestra, made up of Ensemble Modern, the ensemble of the one-year master course of IEMA in Frankfurt, and the ensemble of KLANGSPUREN IEMA, which was held in Schwaz again this year for the first time since 2008. The three constituent formations also performed individually in subsequent concerts, revealing a breathtaking level of playing culture and enthusiasm.


As Composer Conductor in Residence, Enno Poppe was at the core of the first Academy-infused weekend. Recognized as an internationally acclaimed celebrity artist and a pioneer and figurehead of the generation of young “deconstructionists”, Poppe motivated the Academy scholarship recipients to produce exceptional results. The festival took this a step further with its series of a new type of ensemble – musician collectives that collaborate as a network, whose repertoires are built based on conceptual ideas in close cooperation with a few selected composers: ensemble mosaik, Black Page Orchestra, zeitkratzer, Trio Catch, Ensemble Nikel, True Lobster, Duo Enßle-Lamprecht, “A” Trio.


The concerts held in unusual places were especially well received: Trio Catch and Ensemble Nikel played to a thrilled and pleasantly large audience at the livestock auction hall in Rotholz. The Treibhaus in Innsbruck, used as a venue by Klangspuren this year for the first time, turned out to be the perfect setting for ensemble mosaik with Enno Poppe and zeitkratzer with its musical interpretation of drawings by Jorinde Voigt.


The theme “musical” comics, cartoons, and graffiti was incorporated into the festival in a multitude of ways. In their first coproduction with KUNSTRAUM INNSBRUCK and in cooperation with the Nationalgalerie at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin and Freunde Guter Musik Berlin KLANGSPUREN presented two remarkable projects with the internationally renowned artists Jorinde Voigt and Christian Marclay, whose new works were shown in exhibitions and musical performances. A pronounced link between visual art and music is evident in their work: ART AS A MUSICAL SCORE. The opening of Jorinde Voigt’s new exhibition Song of the Earth took place in Kunstraum Innsbruck, with the zeitkratzer ensemble giving its musical interpretation. This opening was followed by the presentation of To Be Continued, Christian Marclay’s new graphic score in the form of an ordinary comic book, which went on display along with other visual scores in the exhibition Graphic Scores at Kunstraum Innsbruck. The inspiring musical interpretation of this and other (photo)graphic-filmic scores by Christian Marclay was performed by the New York experimental vocalists Shelley Hirsch and David Moss and the ensemBle baBel with a guest appearance by Elliott Sharp. Both exhibitions will run until November 12, 2016.


This year the traditional musical pilgrimage led from Strub Pass near the border of Salzburg to Weitau in St. Johann in Tirol. The short concerts in the churches along the way were performed by young, for the most part Austrian musicians in various small constellations designed to augment and complement each other. They ranged from True Lobster with the world premiere of a work by Alexander Kaiser to the final concert with a program for recorder and percussion and a mix of new music and late medieval dances – played by Duo Enßle-Lamprecht.


The festival closed with a double finale: On the one hand, the impressive project Wormholes by the Lebanese cartoonist Mazen Kerbaj, whose real-time drawings of abstract cartoons and comic character-like images on a glass surface – a film drawn live – was accompanied by a massive live soundtrack that dismally addressed the horrors of the wars in Lebanon and Syria. On the other hand, a concert by Klangforum Wien, whose exciting program that summed up the main theme of the festival featured works by Eva Reiter, Johannes Kalitzke, Bernhard Gander, and Ondrem Adámek. 


KLANGSPUREN SCHWAZ 2017 will take place from 09/07 to 09/23. Under the motto “Noch Fragen? Any questions?” the musical accomplishments of women will take center stage.