Graphic Arrays For Musical Interaction


Adapt/Oppose is a modular graphic sign system I'm using extensively since 2007, with performances in 14 different countries and the release of two recorded versions so far. Rather than a fixed composition it is a tool for working out pieces in collective processes. Depending on the context - ranging from workshops to professional ensembles and my own groups - the resulting music can sound very different, but the inherent structures and formal ideas of Adapt/Oppose are nevertheless shaping each version of it.
The graphic sign system confronts the performers with clear indications how to generally relate to each other in given situations, but at the same time they are invited to become co-composers by making their own individual decisions about exact choice of musical material, duration, dynamics and so on. Thus the performed pieces are as much their achievement as it is the composers.

"Form not only is an important aspect in the latest music of Polwechsel, it is also essential to the work of Burkhard Beins. However, rather than being interested in organising the overall structure of a piece of music, he studies the decisions and actions that give rise to form. Since 2007 Beins has been developing Adapt/Oppose, a series of scores that define only the spaces for group interaction and have meanwhile been performed by various ensembles. Durations and timing of musical events are left open, as is the actual musical material, which has to be worked out collectively. The parameters specified in the score are: combination, direction and the order in which the musicians react and interact; the position in the structure where new material is introduced; the fundamental expressive principles of similarity and contrast. Beins' scores are neither indeterminate pieces nor improvisation systems but tools for collective compositions. Last but not least they reflect fundamental aspects of Polwechsel's work, for Adapt/Oppose directs the musicians' attention to combining two extremely different dimensions: on the one hand the full concentration on the detailed shaping of the singular musical moment, on the other, the participation of every player in determining the beginning, duration and end of individual sections and thus the proportions of the resultant form. As Beins emphasises, the mere constellation of musicians is a compositional element, since both the musical materials and personal styles of the players enter a process of mutual transformation."
- Mathias Haenisch, from his liner notes for the Polwechsel CD, Traces Of Wood


Performed Versions, Workshops and Presentations:

20.03.2007: Version 06/1, Maerzmusik, Berlin/D
Sascha Armbruster (sax), Johanna Hessenberg (sax), Sebastien Schiesser (sax), Marcel Schmid (sax), Markus Wenninger (sax), Nikolai Zinke (git), Burkhard Beins (perc)
Workshop Ensemble of the Masterclass 'Experimental Music' held by Sascha Armbruster, Burkhard Beins and Orm Finnendahl as part of the 3rd Summer Academy of Music, Schloss Königs Wusterhausen in Summer 2006.

17.12.2009: Version 09/1, ausland, Berlin/D
The N-Ensemble: Kjetil Brandsdal (e-bass), Bjørnar Habbestad (fl, electr), Koen Nutters (laptop), Anders Hana (e-git), Matthias Engler (perc), Nicolas Field (perc), Morten J. Olsen (perc)

March 2010: Version 10/1, Club Manufaktur (Schorndorf) and Club W71 (Weikersheim)
June 2010: Kid Ailack Concert Hall (Tokyo), Float (Osaka) and Guggenheim House (Kobe)
+ Wien Modern (2010), ZKM (Karlsruhe 2011), Batteries III (Geneva 2011), Klangwerkstatt (Berlin 2012), Exploratorium (Berlin 2013), Klangspuren Schwaz (2013),...
POLWECHSEL: Michael Moser (vc), Werner Dafeldecker (db), Martin Brandlmayr (perc), Burkhard Beins (perc)

08.07.2010: Version 10/2, Exploratorium, Berlin/D
Liz Allbee (tp), Johnny Chang (vl), Antoine Chessex (ts), Chris Heenan (kb-cl), Magda Mayas (p), Koen Nutters (db), Morten J. Olsen (perc)

25.09.2010: Version 10/3, Umlaut Festival, Berlin/D
Pierre Borel (as), Antonin Gerbal (dr), Joel Grip (db), Sofia Jernberg (voice), Nicolas Lefort (git, mixer), Nils Ostendorf (tp), Eve Risser (p)

16.04.2011: Version 11/1, Batteries III Festival, Geneva/CH
Alexandre Babel (perc), Patricia Bosshard (vl), Jonas Kocher (acc), Rodolphe Loubatière (perc), Nicolas Masson (sax), Dragos Tara (db)

27.08.2011: Version 11/2, Météo Festival, Workshop Presentation, Mulhouse/FR
Workshop Ensemble: Mano Cazalobos, Gwenaelle Chastagner, Stephane Clor, Antoine Elias, Julien Grosjean, Sebastien Hermann, Sebastien Hermann, Sarah Jamali, Delphine Langhoff, Jeremy Ledda, Jacques Lopez, Ronan Gil de Morais, Moussa Moussa, Sebastien Muller, Keely Sigot, Marie Verry

01.+ 02.06.2012: Versions 12/1 + 12/2, Serralves em Festa, Porto/PT
Liz Allbee (tp), Antoine Chessex (sax), Diana Combo (turntables), Mário Costa (perc), Werner Dafeldecker (db), Joao Martins (sax), Eduardo Raon (harp), Marcelo dos Reis (ac-git), Jorge Queijo (perc), Ana Luisa Veloso (e-git)

10.12.2012: Version 12/3 Area Sismica, Forlí/IT
Sebastiano Carghini (computer), Attila Faravelli (electro-acoustic devices), Giovanni Lami (computer, transducers), Enrico Malatesta (percussion), Simone Marzocchi (trumpet), Nicola Ratti (guitar, electronics), Federico Robol (acoustic bass guitar), Glauco Salvo (zither), Luca Santini (trumpet), Massimo Valentinotti (guitars), Dominique Vaccaro (electronic devices)

2013: Recorded Version on CD, Hat Hut, CH
POLWECHSEL: Michael Moser (vc), Werner Dafeldecker (db), Martin Brandlmayr (perc), Burkhard Beins (perc)
released on CD: Traces of Wood

03.04.2014: Version 14/1, ausland, Berlin/D
GLÜCK: Burkhard Beins, Enrico Malatesta, Michael Vorfeld, Christian Wolfarth, Ingar Zach (percussion)

26.04.2014: Version 14/2, Plateforme Intermedia, Nantes/FR
Julien Grosjean, Julien Ottavi, Romain Papion, Florian Tossitti, Gabriel Vogel (percussion) and Burkhard Beins (tam tam)

04.05.2014: Lecture, Certain Sundays, Berlin/D

17./18.05.2014: Workshop, Neue Musikschule Berlin/D
Bastian Duncker (alto sax), Sam Gill (alto sax), Karin Johansson (p), Felix Koch (tp), Carola Lewis (fl), Julia Reidy (e-git)

17.01.2015: Version 15/1, The Now now Festival, Sydney/AUS
Splinter Orchestra: Laura Altman, Drew Bourgeois, Marco Cheng, Jim Denley, Joseph Derrick, Peter Farrar, Sam Gill, Luiz Gabriel Gubeissi, Melanie Herbert, Tony Osborne, Axel Powrie, Julia Reidy, Cecile Roux, Bonnie Stewart, Jack Stoneham, Jeremy Tatar

21.01.2015: Workshop with music students at Lasalle College of the Arts, Singapore/SIN

30.01.2015: Version 15/2, The Zoo, Bangkok/TH
Kittipham Jambuala, Chamtima Kampanart, Kilinsuwanmorlee Kanatip, Marut Nopparat, Itsara Padungsak, Worapong Pansen, Woodtipon Phomlocluc, Ponpavit Promehoo, Pongsakorn Rattanapattarakul, Oranich Thongsuwan, Kamonpond Wongcharoenchor, Kasekskai Wongchayesilpa

07.02.2015: Version 15/3, Goethe Institut, Hanoi/VN
Nguyen Thuy Dung (tranh), Nguyen Thu Thuy (dan day), Nguyen Chi Linh (acoustic guitar), Nguyen Thuy Chi (dan bau), Pham Thanh Tam (objects), Nguyen Huong Na (percussion), Nguyen Huu Hai Duy (drums), Nguyen Van Viet (accordion), Huong Nguyen (objects)

2015: Recorded Versions 14/1-a and 14/1-b on CD, Mikroton, RUS
GLÜCK: Burkhard Beins, Enrico Malatesta, Michael Vorfeld, Christian Wolfarth, Ingar Zach (percussion)
released on CD: Glück

25.-29.1.2016: Workshop with choerography students at HZT, Ufer Studios, Berlin/D

18.05.2016: Lecture at HZT, Ufer Studios, Berlin/D

08.01.2017: Version 17/1 for 3 musicians, 3 dancers and electronic music interludes, Tactile Paths Festival, Berlin/D
Jadi Carboni (dance, choerography), Edith Buttingsrut Pedersen (dance), Roberta Ricci (dance), Saara Wallraf (violin), Michael Thieke (clarinet), Christopher Williams (double bass), Burkhard Beins (composition, electronic music)

23.-25.03.2017: Version 17/2, workshop with presentation concert at Sound Disobiedence Festival, Ljubljana/SLO

30.09.2018: Version 18/1 for Sextet, LMTA student ensemble, Druskininkai/LT
Kristupas Gikas (flute), Kazimieras Jusinskas (sax), Simonas Kaupinis (tuba), Monika Kiknadze (viola), Kristupas Kmitas (perc), Domantas Razmus (perc)

10.10.2019: Version 19/1 with Prague Improvisation Orchestra (PIO) at Atrium, Prague/CZ
Barbora Copakova (p), George Cremaschi (db), Andrea La Rose (fl), Elia Moretti (vib), Lucie Pachova (voc, zither), Renata Rakova (cl), Petr Vrba (tp), Michal Zboril (synth)

2022: Scores published in the second issue of Graphème

11.08.2023: Version 23/1 with Workshop Combo at Impro Camp Vol.6, Tøjhus,Fredericia/DK
Eddie Bolger (as), Elinor Bonfils (tp, electr), Peter Ngoc Chi Pham (p), Astrid Helena Frej Møller (voc, electr), Johannes Jacobsen (dr), Eira Norang (voc), Jenny Raunsmed Peitersen (bs), Burkhard Beins (perc)

27.02.2024: Lecture, Taller Treinta, San Miguel de Allende/MX