EXCESS – Forum for Philosophy and Art in the context of the 48th International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt 4-7 August 2016 sought to probe the current state of the relationship between music and philosophy, as well as the mutual consonances and dissonances. With a view to the present, it is of particular interest to ask what questions are stimulating New Music today, what challenges it faces, and what shared themes or “contemporaneities” unite and separate philosophy and New Music today. In this way – and very much following on from earlier discussions in Darmstadt – the forum attempted to show how compositional strategies and concepts exemplify reflections on changes within the whole of contemporary culture.
The forum, consisting of an opening, a closing discussion, three panels and an intervention by Tomás Saraceno and Fahim Amir, took place in two languages (German and English, with simultaneous interpretation), defined itself as an open-ended discussion whose topics will be introduced in keynote speeches. In each case, one composer and one philosopher acted as hosts and play the part of structuring and further developing, with their guests, the discussion that had already started before the course.
With Douglas Barrett, Chaya Czernowin, Dror Feiler, Brian Ferneyhough, Patrick Frank, Ashley Fure, Christian Grüny, Gunnar Hindrichs, Harry Lehmann, Claus-Steffen Mahnkopf, Simone Marenholz, Michael Pisaro, Tomás Saraceno, Mathias Spahlinger, Manos Tsangaris, Bernhard Wadenfels, Jennifer Walshe, Albrecht Wellmer and others.
The Allianz Cultural Foundation also supported the 46th International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt. In "How to perform John Cage?", composers, interpreters and theorists will illuminate the impact of Cage on aesthetics and performance practice through a series of lecture-demonstrations and discussions, reporting on their own individual approaches to Cage's "anarchic harmony".