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Gernot Blume

General Info

Duration: c.
Difficulty: (see Ratings for explanation)
Cost: Score and Parts - $0.00   |   Score Only - $0.00



Mixed Chorus; Percussion


Program Notes

“Sprachlos,” (without language, speechless), is inspired by many of the world’s musical languages that emphasize the human voice primarily as an instrument rather than a vehicle for transporting meaning. Many cultures have for centuries treated the voice in ways my own Western horizon has only recently begun to investigate. The resulting textures have often struck me as rather “modern,” or “experimental,” even though they are deeply rooted in traditional cultural value systems. The musical idioms and cultures referenced in “Sprachlos” are unified by my own, decidedly Western identity and aesthetic values. I do not attempt to imitate the world’s musical traditions, but rather to let them resonate in my own imagination, filtered, abstracted, displaced. I am aware that this kind of musical concept runs the risk of being criticized as neo-colonialist cultural appropriation.

However, musical systems and languages and musicians of any tradition have always been interested in each other. My leaning toward a multi-stylistic collage is perhaps related to Henry Cowell’s desire to “live in the whole world of music.” I do not mean to appropriate, but instead to observe and reflect. I visit humbly, respectfully, but I also leave behind and return home. I admit to the control of my authorship and to the subjectivity of my exoticisms.

“Sprachlos” reflects my experiences as a musician and as an ethnomusicologist with varied musical cultures, but it is ultimately the texture of my own dreams as I imagine and remember distant lands and sounds. And for me today, all lands are as distant as they are close, even my own. They are as much my lands as I belong to none of them. The imaginary journey of “Sprachlos” does not require prior experience with the referenced musical vernaculars, but it also does not deny its global frame of reference.[1]


Commercial Discography

Recent Performances

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Works for Percussion by this Composer

Flying Nowhere - Vibraphone; Piano
Shinkansen - Percussion; Trombone; Piano
Sprachlos - Mixed Chorus; Percussion
Why - Marimba Quartet

Additional Resources