HEINER GOEBBELS Surrogate Cities
Commissioned to mark the 20th anniversary of the Junge Deutsche Philharmonie and the 1200th anni-versary of the city of Frankfurt. “Surrogate Cities” is one of German composer and music-theatre innovator Heiner Goebbels’ most far-reaching projects. The work is an examination of the “concrete jungle” in all its complexity, its positive and negative ramifications, its past and present. It is about the dynamic power and the power dynamics of the city. Heiner Goebbels: “Surrogate Cities“ is an attempt to approach the phenomenon of the city from various sides, to tell stories of cities, expose oneself to them, observe them; it is material about metropolises that has accumulated over the course of time. The work was inspired partly by texts, but also by drawings, structures and sounds, the jux-taposition of orchestra and sampler playing a considerable role because of the latter’s ability to store sounds and noises occasionally alien to orchestral sonorities... My intention was not to produce a close-up but to try and read the city as a text and to translate something of its mechanics and archi-tecture into music.
“When it comes to the power dynamics of the city, the individual is always the more vulnerable party. Art rebels against this overpowering structure by strengthening the subjective element. Composers usually justify what they write by saying that they need to get it out of their system. This is only partly true for me. I try to gain a bit more distance: I construct something that confronts the audience, and the audience reacts to it, discovering in the music a space they can enter complete with their associations and ideas.”