by Gerhard Stäbler [2001/2002]
[first performed: Bühl/Baden / Germany , kopfHörer/experimentelle musik elektrovisuell, July 5th 2002]
Commissioned by Interzone perceptible
Gerhard's (*1949) prime interest in most of his works lies in allowing the audience to percieve his music beyond the mere act of listening. He incorporates performance, lighting, theatrical elements and scents in his compositions as well as the performers own responsibility, e.g. through the use of graphic notation. Although GIFT-GELB uses graphic notation and therefore offers us a maximum of interpretational freedom, we are forced to walk on thin ice when all notated parameters are taken literally. It is precisely this ambivalence between great freedom and stern strictness we enjoy in the piece GIFT-GELB.
He wrote about his piece:
Quickly told: Afghanistan is attacked because of terrorism with, among other things, fragmentation bombs equipped with several hundred warheads - indeed Evil, wherever it is, must be met with a kindred Language and, because one has values - values to defend - for which one has the right to a Crusade - thoughtfully with yellow-packed goods, better said: packets of rations full of American fast food, abundantly dropped on wide, unpopulated zones - at any rate the pictures from the Hindu Kush look like this. Adults, but most of all children, chase after these packets - children, starving, who have to suffer the most from the confusion of war, and, as is the case everywhere, are the most curious to know what is raining down from the heavens . . . But caution! Fragmentation bombs, so generously distributed across the country, are also wrapped in yellow packages and are only distinguishable from the food packets by a negligible difference in size. So c'mon kids, out with the ruler and measure! For an inch too long or half an inch too wide and it could cost you your life! For yellow fragmentation bombs often explode late, only about two thirds explode immediately upon dropping and about one third thereafter - and then all life is destroyed in a radius of 1,800 feet. When? C'mon, let's go, and measure exactly! Don't forget your rulers! They certainly must have also rained down from the heavens! The exact measurements? You'll figure them out yourselves! Giving the bombs another color? That'd be too expensive. "Gift·Gelb" for electrified Accordion, Electric Bass and Tape - an Allegory - was written in Winter 2001-2002.
[translated by Eric Flesher and Michael Rook]