Georg Friederich Haas: in vain
A contrast of light and dark, harmony and dissonance, composer Georg Friedrich Haas’ in vain startles and captivates the senses. Haas is an internationally known composer of spectral music whose style focuses on micropolyphony, microintervals, and exploitation of the overtone series. Performed by a 24-member chamber orchestra, much of this intense 75-minute composition takes place in total darkness. In this state, the musicians must perform from memory, communicating with each other and the audience only through sound. Accompanied by dramatic microtonal deviations, the cycles between light and darkness express both the desire for perfect harmony and the futility of achieving such a harmonic co-existence, musically or in the world. During their residency, the Argento Chamber Ensemble recorded their performance of in vain over several days, in both audio and video.
Founded in 2000, Argento consists of nine core members and regularly expands to up to 30 musicians. Argento has toured widely in the US and abroad, and has worked closely with leading contemporary composers including Pierre Boulez, Beat Furrer, Georg Friedrich Haas, Bernhard Lang, Fred Lerdahl, Fabien Lévy, Tristan Murail, and others.