I’m heading out to Heidenheim on 1 July for the first performance of a piece written for the youth wind orchestra from the Musikschule Heidenheim. This was a commission from Netzwerk Neue Musik through the 2017 ad libitum prize and is one of four pieces being played by groups from the school. I’ve been watching rehearsals on video which has worked really well, and very much looking forward to working with the students next month.
The piece is titled solutions must be sought which everyone can accept, and uses a large group of players who continually form new sub-groups until a stable situation has been found. Players decide whether to move to a new sub-group or remain in their current sub-group with the aim of helping achieve consensus. The nature of such a state is negotiated non-verbally by the players as a group based on the implications of individuals’ actions. Players may utilise a range of strategies, causing the group to find different forms of balance amongst moments of disruption. The title comes from a 1945 text by Dutch educator Kees Boeke in which he defines sociocracy as ‘a real community-democracy,
an organisation of the community by the community itself.’ The piece tests how a group of musicians might find a way to organise themselves without explicit leadership.