I was in residency at the beautiful Camargo Foundation in Cassis, France, from January 31 – February 13, 2020. During the stay I was working on a new piece for Florentin Ginot and his double bass project HowNow. The commission and a generous support for the creation phase comes from the Royaumont Foundation.
A new work composed for double bassist Florentin Ginot, member of Ensemble Musikfabrik Köln. At the core of this project is a balance act between the bassist, the audience and several objects in the concert space. The objects remain in hanging balance and are connected to the bow of the bassist and to several hands of audience members. Movements by audience members will influence the playing capacity of the bassist and have a direct influence on the sounding piece. This fragile assembly becomes an exterior body for the musician on stage, presenting a narration of dependence and mutual influence.
The premiere of the new work with project title Soif Idéale / Perfect Thirst will be September 5 in the Abbey of Royaumont, Asnières-sur-Oise, France.
Jon Heilbron has given my solo piece Slope Motion its Australian premiere, as part of the finals of the Freedman Classical Fellowship Competition as one of the three remaining participants. The final took place in the Sidney Opera House and has been recorded and broadcast by ABC Classic.
Die Perfekte Passivität has been featured in a dedicated 4-page article about my opera for their Intermission Issue of Fall 2019, guest-edited by artist and curator Olympia Scarry. Co-written by Erik Lindman Mata and myself, it covers a broad range of topics the opera deals with. Among them ghosts, hypnosis, the sound of suitcases and airports.
The article appears both in print and online
Olyrix – Opera online
(translated from French)
(…) And then Mauro Hertig’s The Great Mirror for double vocal quartet, based on the encyclopedia of Vincent de Beauvais, which supposedly contains all the knowledge of the world. This totalizing ambition is transcribed in this three-part performance which integrates and combines a great variety of elements with a brilliance in its implementation. Also present: the use of sound recordings, the mobilization of the public, leaving parts free to improvisation, the spontaneity of the changes of tone carried by hand claps while at the same time keeping up a certain competence in the writing of the choir sounds, reflecting a balanced discourse. The abundance of energy, the smiling tone of les Métaboles [choir], taking part in this experiment, are communicative, ensuring this strong moment of the concert.
Res Musica – Musique Classique et Danse
(translated from French)
(…) But it is, in fine, the Swiss Mauro Hertig who creates the moment of this concert-academy, by throwing himself in the theatrical experience, with certainly reduced means but a good dose of humor and invention. Relevant is the idea of staging the character of Vincent de Beauvais, who died in Royaumont in 1264. A Dominican Brother, he is the author of an encyclopaedia constituting a panorama of the Middle Ages known as Speculum Maius (Great Mirror). The book is divided into three main parts which also divide the work by Mauro Hertig, renamed The Great Mirror. It summons a double vocal quartet and some recorded sounds, captured in the very enclosure of the abbey and bringing noises of nature to the ear in the first chapter, the Speculum Naturale. The very free interpretation of the scholar’s work gives rise to as many “tableaux”, funny and well guided, where the singers mingle with the public (Speculum Historiale) without neglecting the beat of the gesture or the requirement of a vocal writing that makes this theater of words a truly musical experience.
(translated from French)
(…) Mauro Hertig, meanwhile, with The Great Mirror for double vocal quartet, a piece that unequivocally falls under the musical theater – by which it differs from the trends reflected by this promotion 2019. Nor does it yield to the nostalgia of “Classics” of the genre, the Swiss composer does not sacrifice music on the altar of the theater. Tinged with subtle humor, his abundant inventiveness does not deprive him of a detailed control of the musical discourse.
Blog of Omer Corlaix, Editions MF
(translated from French)
(…) The work of young Swiss Mauro Hertig (* 1989), The Great Mirror for double vocal quartet closing the concert of creations Sunday at noon was one of the highlights of this Academie Voix Nouvelles 2019. Mauro Hertig was bold to create connection with the encyclopedia of the Dominican friar Vincent de Beauvais, lecteur at the Abbey of Royaumont during the reign of Saint Louis. The Speculum Maius is a gigantic work gathering all the knowledge of an era, it is a set of 32 books distributed in 3718 chapters. It is the equivalent of its time of the Great Diderot-D’Alembert encyclopedia. For the concert, the composer composed a piece of fifteen minutes made from an English edition of the fifteenth century. Musical theater, virtuosity of the singers taken individually or collectively, spatialization, humor, sound shift …. It is a beautiful success full of freshness where diversity reaches unity. Mauro Hertig is what is called a composer in printing, the multiple makes sense for the listener.
After taking OUR EAR (2018) on their tour through Switzerland, Duo Klexs have reached the finals of the Nicati competition – with my composition in their program for the big day on Aug 31, 2019. If you live nearby Bern, Switzerland, please consider supporting them at the concert!
I am selected as a Laureate of this year’s Académie des Voix Nouvelles at the Abbey of Royaumont in France, which took part from August 25 – September 8, 2019. My piece The Great Mirror for eight voices has been performed by the choir Les Métaboles under the direction of Léo Warynski.
This selection goes along with a commission of a new piece for next season, which will be premiered at Royaumont in summer 2020 by double bass player Florentin Ginot.
I am very much looking forward to coming back to this incredible place and working in the historic halls of the Abbey.
There are four reviews published about my choir piece The Great Mirror.
Mathias Monrad Møller has interviewed me for the German edition of VAN Magazin, online magazine for classical music. The interview is broadly about my new book Höranalyse – Neue Werkzeuge der musikalischen Wahrnehmung and touches fields of crowd-knowledge, the problematics of score analysis and visions of the future of creating and analyzing music.
You can read the interview (in German) here:
I am spending three week-long residencies at the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) as composer-in-residence 2019. During this time I am working on a patch for a commissioned work for Soyuz21 Ensemble which will be premiered in October 2019 in Zurich and Basel, Switzerland. Concert details are in the Agenda.
The software patch contains a pitch-control system where sound source and pitch control constantly shift between the musicians of the piece. The keyboard only uses live-sounds which is the sound of any one instrument of the ensemble or or the room sound.
The ensemble consists of Alto-Saxophone, electric guitar, percussion and keyboard.
After a year’s work with publishing house Wolke Verlag my new book on listening analysis is out: Höranalyse – Neue Werkzeuge der musikalischen Wahrnehmung. It is based on a long interest of mine in the topic and draws from the experience as a composer and my blog Forum of Applied Abstraction, which puts analysis of music into practice online.
It is written in German, but ships worldwide. You can get one at your favorite bookstore, through online order services or directly through the publisher’s distribution.