THE PRESENT AGE (2014-2015)
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THE PRESENT AGE (2014-2015)

“A revolutionary age is an age of action; the present age is an age of advertisement, or an age of publicity: nothing happens, but there is instant publicity about it.”

-Søren Aabye Kierkegaard


In spite of being written more then 150 years ago, the above quote from the great Danish philosopher, Søren Aabye Kierkegaard, is still actual and relevant to our current time. Indeed our “present age” tends to put heavier weight on the announcement of its actions, sometimes more then the actions themselves but at the same breath one can’t overlook the liberty and as a result, the comfort we enjoy in realizing enormous quantity of “actions” as reflected simply by reading through the rich output that accommodates the social platforms of this “advertisement” & “publicity” age.


In the passing 20 years, the knowledge revolution,  with it’s easiness of transport and mobility under the general acceptance of a globalized capitalism, has generally redefined our experience of life and concretely reshaped the world of arts to the extent of being almost borderless (literally and spiritually) in both manners of creativity and production.


In this new world a Quartet is no longer instinctively being perceived as a group of string players but as a matter of fact can naturally accommodate electric guitar, saxophone, percussion and piano as happens in the ensemble Nikel instrumentation.
In this new world a quartet is no longer a group of four people (only!) but actually it is group of people joined by “phantoms” that come to life in the form of computers, electronics or video technology. All together form a shared artistic duty and responsibility.  It is a world where a quartet based in Israel is naturally consisting of members from diverse origins and nationalities (Swiss, German, American and Israeli) that eventually come together in a meeting point in Basel.  It is a world where a “classical” music group jumps out of the concert hall to play in a bar or a club not for the sake of being  COOL and attract additional public but for the idealistic (probably naive) thought to possibly reshape current structures within the pre-given social order where the relations between the artist, the audience and the hosting platform are to be reexamined.

It is a world where a music ensemble can comfortably host within the same contextual frame a project with folk oriented instruments; a concert evolving around computer technology and as well to even team up with a dance company for putting on a show where both musicians and dancers function not only as performers but are the actual creators – choreographers & composers – of the work.


The above and more are the reflections of Ensemble Nikel’s being, its artistic position, its activity and its own moral aesthetic output that are intended for presentation by the group in its 2014/15  residency season at the venue of Gare du Nord – Basel.

©Alexa Früh/Gare du Nord Basel

In detail it is a formulation of four events as follows:

04.12 "Sasha's Song"

José María Sánchez Verdú – “Oxide” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2011)

Michael Wertmüller – “Skip a Beat” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2012)

Marco Momi – “ALMOST NOWHERE” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & electronics (2014)

Vladimr Gorlinsky – “The Reason” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & video (2014)

30.01 "Back 2 Back: Prins/Gadenstaetter"

Stefan Prins – “Fremdkoerper #2” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & electronics (2010)

Stefan Prins – “Flesh & Prosthesis #0-2” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & electronics (2013/14)

Stefan Prins – “Piano Hero #1” for keyboard, electronics & video (2012)

Clemens Gadenstätter – “Sad Songs” for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2012)

12.03 "The death of Rebelion"

Pierluigi Billone – “Sgorgo oO” for electric guitar solo (2013)

Marco Momi – “Cinque Nudi” for saxophone & electronics (2013)

Enno Pope – “Arbeit” for keyboard solo (2007)

Michael Maierhof – “Splitting 24” for percussion solo (2012/13)

Katharina Rosenberg – “5 Interludes” for sax, egtr, perc, pno & electronics (2015)

World Premiere

11.06 "Czernowin (with Drum Kit)"

Alex Mincek – “Nucleus” for sax & drums (2007)
Brian Ferneyhough – “Opus Contra Naturam” for piano solo (2000)
Chaya Czernowin – “New piece” for egtr & accordion (2015) World Premiere
Chaya Czernowin – “FardanceCLOSE” for piano solo (2012)
Mattehw Shlomowitz – “Logic Rock for egtr & drums” (2013
Chaya Czernowin – “The Last Leaf “ for sopraninio solo (2011)
Chaya Czernowin – “Sahaf “ for sax, egtr, perc & pno (2009)

In conclusion, the ensemble is strongly hoping to offer not only a new perspective on contemporary music but to also offer an introduction to the life of young musicians teaming up to formulate a new music group who unites around the basis of pluralistic and borderless – pan universal – musical and geopolitical conception of the Present Age we’re living in.


– Ensemble Nikel