Moondog -  a new concert series

This summer the SHMF presents the new concert series "Moondog" - sponsored by the NORDAKADEMIE Foundation. Five concerts will take place in urban locations in Hamburg and put music of different styles into an exciting context in a club atmosphere. The concerts start at 9 p.m. and last about an hour. They invite the audience to follow the programme while standing, on the floor or sitting on cardboard stools they have folded themselves, with or without a drink in their hands.

Artists such as Víkingur Ólafsson, Katia Labèque and Stefan Lakatos as well as groups such as Wooden Elephant and the Trio ClariNoir will perform at Uebel & Gefährlich, Dockland, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Hall 424 and Thalia Theater. They all dedicate themselves to current trends in classical music and experiment with rhythm, other genres and electronic influences. The programme includes music by Moondog, Philip Glass, Beyoncé and Simeon ten Holt.

Who is Moondog?
Moondog lived and worked as "The Viking of 6th Avenue" from the 1940s to the 1970s as a street musician in New York's Manhattan district. His unmistakable musical style quickly developed international appeal. Using special rhythms and unusual instrumentations, the autodidact created new sound worlds and influenced minimal music. In New York he met Arturo Toscanini, Igor Strawinsky, Leonard Bernstein and Charlie Parker, stood on stage with the New York Philharmonic and shared an apartment with Philip Glass. In 1974 he travelled to Germany at the invitation of Hessischer Rundfunk and visited Hamburg and Hanover as well as Frankfurt. He continued his compositional work and was a guest at the Salzburg Festival and the Documenta in Kassel. He remained in Germany until his death, Moondog died in Münster in 1999.
The SHMF series "Moondog" takes up not only the music of this exceptional artist, but also his progressive spirit: with experimental concert formats that make music audible and experienceable in a new way.

The Concerts

Movement (3.8., 21pm , Dockland)

The Dutch composer Simeon ten Holt (1923-2012) created idiosyncratic pieces in the sense of the musical avant-garde until he dedicated himself to his main work: "Canto Ostinato" he completed in 1979 after three years of work. The work has strong references to Minimal Music, which is reflected in the recurrence of a musical figure as an important element. The piece is notated in motivic patterns so that the performers are granted a great deal of freedom - they determine not only the instrumentation, but also the length and structure of the parts. This requires precise tuning among the musicians. The piece has a meditative and at the same time highly emotional character, simple melody is spun away successively, driven by a pulsating rhythm.
At the concert in the SHMF series "Moondog", the five-piece ensemble will be distributed among various rooms in Dockland. The musicians change positions again and again, so that the performance is characterized by constant movement. They tune each other by means of a button in their ear, above which they hear the meter of the piece. The audience is invited to walk around just like the ensemble or to find a comfortable place to sit on the floor and let the acoustic impressions have an effect on them. Concert...

Roommates (8.8., 21pm, Uebel & Gefährlich)

With Víkingur Olafsson it never gets boring. And the Icelandic piano virtuoso proves this with the etudes by Philip Glass. He brings out the fascination of repetition, adds colours and brings the mechanical Minimal Music to life by means of large-scale tension arcs.
Philip Glass and Moondog not only shared an apartment in New York, but were both instrumental in the development of minimal music. Both combine the devotion to rhythmic-repetitive figures, seemingly infinite sound constructs and a special musical clarity. These characteristics can also be seen in Moondogs works "Bird's Lament" and "Sea Horse", to which Víkingur Ólafsson also devotes himself within the uncut walls of Uebel & Gefährlich. Concert...

Floating (10.8., 21pm, Thalia Theater)

Katia Labèque's repertoire ranges from Johann Sebastian Bach to the contemporary avant-garde. The pianist is one of the great musicians of our time and regularly performs with world-class orchestras. For several years she has been engaged in minimal music. For her project "Moondog" she arranged together with the Trio Triple Sun some pieces of the American artist for piano, electric guitar, electric bass, percussions and synthesizer. Moondog's music evolves and proves its own timelessness.
The dancer Yaman Okur, who choreographed the premiere of the project at the Festival de Fourvieres in Lyon in 2016, can also be seen on stage. With flowing and expressive movements, he creates a visual approach to Moondogs music and at the same time accompanies its call for constant movement and development. The Thalia Theater offers a creative environment and at the same time a large stage, which gives the star pianist Katia Labèque, the Trio Triple Sun and the dancer Yaman Okur sufficient space for their program. Concert...

A Taste of Lemonade (16.8., 21h, Hall 424)

The string quintet Wooden Elephant combines classical music with contemporary pop music - and not only with their instruments, but also with everyday objects such as milk frothers, bathtub plug chains, party trumpets and aluminium foil. The five musicians deliberately rearrange entire albums of well-known pop artists, not just individual songs. "Too many of us have given up the art of listening to whole albums," say Wooden Elephant. "We present electronic music of elephant-like proportions on nothing but our small wooden instruments.
Björk's "Homogenic" and "Kid A" by Radiohead have already been dedicated to them. This year the album "Lemonade" by American R&B and pop singer Beyoncé is on the program. Purely acoustically the ensemble around violist and arranger Ian Anderson makes the concept album a new experience and sprays a lot of fun experimenting in the middle of the creative-rough scenery of hall 424. Concert...

The Viking (30.8., 21pm, Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof)

The concert series concludes with the Swedish musician and long-time friend of Moondogs Stefan Lakatos. The two artists got to know each other in 1980 and cultivated an intensive collaboration. Moondog taught Lakatos how to build and play the Trimba, a triangular drum he had developed himself. For almost 40 years Lakatos has been committed to the preservation and dissemination of Moondogs works and also wants to inspire new generations for the music of the "Viking". Together with the young clarinet trio ClariNoir, supplemented by oboe and bassoon, he adds new timbres to the repetitive rhythms of Moondogs compositions. In the hall of the Kunstverein Harburger Bahnhof, Lakatos takes the audience on a journey through time and brings Moondogs music into the present. Concert...