Trabant 2018/19 followed in its outer, organizational form the pattern of the 2016 modified, second Satellite edition, as it had proven itself in every respect. In addition to the 8 candidates, this time we awarded a “wild card” to the (very) young and talented composer Joey Tan, who had come to our attention during our trip to Singapore last fall. Joey participated as a full member of the group, but externally funded and thus not a burden on the adjacent budget.
In an initial module in November 2018, there was room for instrument-specific issues ranging from small instrumentation to balance issues in full instrumentation. Our core members involved were able to pass on their experience and know-how and information about relevant literature directly to the composers present together as a “class”, which fell on very fertile ground.
In a second module – scheduled for January 2019 – the composers arrived partly with sketches, partly with fully developed compositions in their luggage, which were tried out and tested by larger registers and subsequently by the full ensemble. Feedback from Detlev Müller-Siemens, who was present from this point on, from Jürg Henneberger and from members of the ensemble led to a deeper, more intensive examination of the compositional sketches. Erik Oña had to withdraw completely from the project due to his serious illness, and we were able to replace him with Detlev Müller-Siemens, with whom we had already successfully collaborated in the same capacity in the 2016/17 edition.
For the third module (June 2019), all composers provided a finished piece in score and part material (digital and on paper), which 8 of the 9 composers also complied with (Korean’s Ji Hyon Yoon stayed away from the last module for family reasons). In an almost too dense rehearsal phase, the full ensemble rehearsed the eight partly extensive compositions, again with the constant presence of all composers and Detlev Müller-Siemens. On Saturday, June 8, 2019, all compositions were premiered in a deliberately internal concert and recorded simultaneously.
From the candidates, two will be selected as prize-winners for the concert planned for January 2020 in connection with Witlod Lutosławski’s “Chain I”.
In 2020/21, the EPhB conducted its three-part Satellite Workshop for the fourth time, which was successfully held for the first time in 2014/15.
In an international call for compositions, 8 young composers were sought. The collaboration was divided into three modules with workshop character. For a fourth module, two of the participants were selected, who received a regular commission from Ensemble Phoenix Basel within the following season for a work that refers to or comments on a programmed central work of a “modern classic”. In 2021, the work in question is Gérard Grisey’s “Vortex Temporum”.
In 2016/17 EPhB conducted for the second time a biennial international composition workshop. In three preparatory modules – these supported by the Swiss Arts Council “Pro Helvetia” – young composers at the beginning of their career get the opportunity to experiment with us as a professional specialist ensemble over the period of 18 months.
For the final fourth module – then as an integral part of our series – two selected graduates of the preparatory phase are commissioned to compose a new work as a musical “commentary” on a central work of the 20th or 21st century. The new works are to “orbit” this composition as “satellites”, i.e. they are to refer to it or contrast with it. In 2017, the two satellites will revolve around the “Chamber Concerto,” one of the major works of Hungarian composer György Ligeti.
Originally from Iran, Elnaz Seyedi studied composition in Bremen with Younghi Pagh-Paan, in Basel with Caspar Johannes Walter, and at the Folkwang University of the Arts Essen with Günter Steinke. With her work “Detaillierter Blick”, she illuminates and reflects on various mood states of Ligeti’s masterpiece without quoting it directly.
The composer and saxophonist Kevin Juillerat, who comes from French-speaking Switzerland, studied saxophone in Lausanne with Pierre-Stéphane Meugé and in Basel with Marcus Weiss. At the same time he studied in Geneva with Michael Jarrell and Luis Naon and in Basel with Georg Friedrich Haas composition. His new work TOMBEAU makes concrete use of individual “building blocks” from Ligeti’s chamber concerto, placing them in a new context and developing them further until, shortly before the end, they culminate in a short literal quotation that breaks off abruptly and leads to an open ending.