Thus, a pandemic festival program lies before us, even more dense than usual, because some things from last year still had to be said, because the artistic need for expression is great in the face of pressing world events, because substantive decisions have demanded dramaturgical additions, and last but not least, because artists are given a different kind of attention in the international festival context than in singular projects. Of course, we want to make this attention possible.
The artistic reactions to this challenging time are very different. Evening-length works allow us to comprehend the expansion of time and direct our ears, as it were, with a magnifying glass to the smallest differences and frictions, focused and concentrated on the beauty of details. Other works playfully seize the technical achievements of the »new reality« and take us on a hybrid digital adventure. And there is music that unfolds completely self-referentially, unaffected by the pandemic situation. This year’s festival thus once again represents a great diversity of what is currently relevant, pressing or questioning in the world of new music.
Those who have followed our work over the past two years have experienced two strands as particularly formative. The first is the mission that our colleague and friend Maria Kalesnikava has virtually conveyed to us, after we followed her charismatic and powerful advocacy of democracy with growing respect and sympathy in the summer of 2020 and accepted her decision, which had become a myth, to achieve more for her homeland as a dissident in prison than as a musician in Stuttgart. Once again we focus on Belarus, invite Belarusian artists to draw a differentiated picture of their situation between exile and resistance with the means of music, poetry, visual and conceptual art. The dramatic developments in Eastern Europe give rise to fears that we are once again heading towards a lasting East-West conflict. All the more important is the exchange on the level of civil society, the understanding of life in patriarchal and autocratic societies. An impressive insight is provided by Sergej Shabohin’s installation »Practises of Subordination« (concert 13), which illuminates life under dictatorship in a way that is as enigmatic as it is revealing, and whose visual language also permeates this preliminary program.
Another focus is the examination of social distancing and the digital means of communication that have grown out of it. In this way, formats have emerged that will certainly complement the traditional concert form in the long term. ECLAT ’21 has shown that online hosting can develop its own charms and produce an exciting festival. In 2022, the focus will be on how we can connect the booster- and FFP2-armed 2G+ live audience that will hopefully flock to our halls with a worldwide online audience. Together with the festival’s protagonists, we are inventing an independent stage space for the computer screen that will translate the individual aura of each work into the digital. Special film perspectives, text and video animations, collages, hybrid and interactive music theater formats will be used to create exciting concert events and an informative and communicative ECLAT portal that will provide a stimulating festival experience for audiences near and far.
This hybrid combination of the local concerts with their elaborate online presentation is made possible by the support of the Baden-Württemberg Foundation, to whom we would like to express our sincere thanks, as well as to all the sponsors mentioned inside the program.
It will be challenging to perceive the whole complex program of the six festival days. But fortunately we have not only 21, but 42 events, and the concerts streamed in real time will be available »on demand« on the Internet for several more weeks. So develop your own festival dramaturgy–and also decide for yourself what quantity discount you want to allow yourself, which we have so far always given you through festival passes, which–again due to the pandemic–is not practical this time.
We look forward to seeing you in a few days when the curtain will rise on our web portal and the doors will open in the Theaterhaus: Welcome to ECLAT 2022!
Christine Fischer Artistic Director and the entire festival team