George Lewis is a prophet in experimental music and its interconnections with technology. In the late 1980s, he was already researching how computer systems interacted with his improvisations on the trombone. At HKW, his Voyager software, first presented in 1987, performs an improvised dialogue for two pianos with Magda Mayas and the Bach interpreter Mahan Esfahani plays the composition Timelike Weave (2018) on the harpsichord, which is inspired by weaving techniques from the African diaspora as well as by questions of quantum physics. Man and machine, past and possible futures as well as the cultural and technological overwriting of one by the other: The main themes from Lewis’s decades of work are concentrated and combined.
Timelike Weave (2018), 15 min
Mahan Esfahani, harpsichord
Voyager (1987–), 25 min
Voyager Interactive Music System, piano
Magda Mayas, piano
In a conversation, George Lewis, Magda Mayas and the festival curators Detlef Diederichsen and Zuri Maria Daiß discuss the unpredictable in dialogue, Doris Lessing’s science fiction novel The Sirian Experiments, trust in improvisation and the decisions that encounter artificial intelligences.
For The Disappearance of Music, the composer and professor of composition and music history will give a keynote entitled Spooky Interaction at a Distance: Telematic Afrofuturism.