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Henrik Schwarz announces Plunderphonia

By | Published on Wednesday 25 July 2018

K7!’s experimental label 7K! has announced a new project from Henrik Schwarz called ‘Plunderphonia’. It will see the producer compose a new string piece using parts culled from existing works.

Schwarz chose the 70 works he now plans to adapt from over 700 possible pieces. His selections were then re-recorded by the Alma Quartet, ready for him to take the individual parts and rework them into his new composition. Among the composers he is plundering are Bach, Bartok, Brahms, Debussy, Dvorak, Ravel, Jonny Greenwood, Mozart, Schubert and Terry Riley.

Speaking about the project, Schwarz says: “I would hear hit records in the string quartet compositions. Suddenly you have four bars that are absolutely incredible, that are super modern even if they are 200 years old. By just extracting them and taking away everything else you put it into a new context and find ways of connecting different string quartets into something new”.

‘Plunderphonia’ has been commissioned by the Berlin festival Pop-Kultur, at which Schwarz and the Alma Quartet will debut a work in progress version of the piece on 15 Aug. After that, they are scheduled to play the finished, album-length piece at the Elbphilharmonie concert hall in Hamburg on 23 Mar 2019. A recording will also be released the same day.

Here’s a video to explain the project further: