Image © Max Wuschko
Edition Peters is delighted to be publishing the works of American composer Mark Barden. A total of eleven works will initially be published, ranging from solo works (Études 1-3), installations ( ألم [Alam] I), works for small ensembles (witness), ensemble pieces (aMass) to orchestral works (anatomy).
Barden’s work understands sound as a fundamentally physical phenomenon. By emphasizing the violence of sound-making—with all its gripping, striking, and scraping—he invites the audience not just to listen, but to feel their own bodies listening and engaging with sound and, vicariously, with the musicians‘ bodies as their muscles and breath vibrate the air. Recent works marry virtuosic execution with noise-based sonic material, striving for an inward-turned complexity that, like microscopic views of cells or atoms, is both life-affirming and dizzying in detail.
Barden composes concert music and sound installations with and without live musicians. He studied composition with Lewis Nielson, Rebecca Saunders, Mathias Spahlinger, Jörg Widmann, and Roger Redgate and holds degrees from the Oberlin Conservatory (USA), the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg and Goldsmiths (UK). Barden has received numerous awards for his compositional oeuvre, including the Ernst von Siemens Composer Prize, the GEMA's German Music Author Prize, a scholarship award from the International Summer Courses at Darmstadt, residency scholarships from the Akademie der Künste Berlin and the German Study Centre in Venice, and the only annually commissioned composition from the Bavarian Academy of Fine Arts in 2016. His works are frequently performed by
leading musicians such as Klangforum Wien, Ensemble Intercontemporain, ensemble recherche, the Mivos Quartet,
KNM Berlin, Ensemble Mosaik, Nicolas Hodges, the Arditti Quartet and many others at festivals such as the Donaueschinger Musiktage, Wien Modern and the Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik. His first portrait CD was released in 2016 by Col Legno and a second follows in 2020 on Wergo. He lives in Berlin.
His latest work for ensemble, Monoliths VI-XII, will premiere at Wittener Tage on 11 May with Ensemble Kollektiv conducted by Titus Engel. The festival will also feature the world premieres of Clara Iannotta’s Moult with the WDR Sinfonieorchester conducted by Michael Wendeberg on 11 May, and Manos Tsangaris' es geht voran, a chamber play for actress, improvising soprano and small ensemble.