Curator’s editorial

New Order / Dis-Order: “Contemporary Music”
Against the background of the global change, triggered by the digital revolution, this festival would like to explore the question of whether and how this New Order of time and space is reflected in music of the 20th and 21st centuries.
Are the old systems of order (categories like nation, gender etc., but also the subdivision into genres and styles) still relevant today? Or are they – on the contrary – possibly gaining in importance again?
How does the ubiquitous availability of old, new and newest compositions on the Internet influence the work of young composers? Has globalization brought the contemporary music scene closer together?
And who or what will determine the music of the 21st century – and who or what will belong to it and why – and who or what will not? Will the established genres, such as chamber music, ensemble music, etc., gradually have to give way to other formats?
What does ‘self-willingness’ or ‘resistance’ mean today?

Iris ter Schiphorst


The second New Music Forum in 2021 will present a diverse selection of recently composed music that reflects the interests and vision of the acclaimed composer Iris ter Schiphorst (1956), who has chosen an assortment of solo, chamber and ensemble pieces by contemporary composers which explore the central theme of music and digital media. 

As an artist, Iris ter Schiphorst has experienced many transformations, which can also be understood as various transfigurations or rather a reflection of the multifacetedness of postmodern society. She has worked as a classical pianist as well as a bass player, keyboard player and sound engineer in various rock and punk bands, making it easy for her to glide between musical genres. She also pursued theatre studies, cultural studies and philosophy in Berlin, while her composition teachers included Dieter Schnebel and Luigi Nono. Schiphorst also focused intensively on electronic music and sampling techniques, so it is no wonder that in connection with her passion for social justice, she has chosen to highlight the connection between music and various media as the central theme of her festival. Schiphorst is convinced that digital media have significantly changed the musical landscape in recent decades, with democratization, dehierarchization, deinstitutionalisation and individualization on the one hand, and technological development also influencing artistic “inspiration” on the other. Thus compositional techniques such as sampling and remixing have moved into the territory of so-called “artistic” music, where the youngest generation of composers use them with the same self-evidence as traditional notation-related techniques.

The New Music Forum 2021 will try to present just such a wild rise in similar technical, genre and content performances by contemporary composers of different generations. The six concerts will focus on different musical contexts. The first concert, Idiosyncrasy: 3 Nations, 3 Perceptions of Time and World? will present compositions by three contemporary composers working and trespassing different cultural and social contexts. The second concert, named Pluralism, Extension, Timbre, will present the different sound worlds as products of broadly conceived idea of stylistic pluralism, which will be even extended on the third concert/first late-night concert (Feedbacks – in Self-defense), prepared in cooperation with Zavod SPLOH, with two new compositions that take the middle path between performance art, conceptual art and free improvisation. The concert Diversity in the digital age concentrates on the works which wear the imprint of the procedures, derivated from the digital world. The next concert, The Expanding Pianoscape – World References puts in the centre the piano, but not as a typical classical instrument, more as a source for new modifications, extensions, preparations and electronic manipulations. Last concert/second night-late concert will once more give a word to the technical solutions, however, the ones that come closer to the contemporary do-it-yourself (DIY) methodology. 

In total festival will include 6 concerts, with 4 newly commissioned works by the middle and younger generations of Slovenian composers, a total of 25 pieces that will be performed in Slovenia for the first time, 4 pre-concert discussions with composers, performers and musicologists, composition workshops and musicological seminar with Iris ter Schiphorst and Rolf Riehm.