Hugo Ticciati, the O/Modernt New Generation Orchestra is this year’s Orchestra in Residence at Young Euro Classic. How do you feel about this?
It’s an incredible opportunity and a great honour to be able to come and present more than one programme. I think, one of the strengths that we have is the variety of programmes that we can present, in lots of different genres. And to be able to present two or even three different concerts, all with totally different narratives, with totally different shapes, totally different styles of music and with different types of artists will give the audience a real feel for the world of O/Modernt.
Tell us more about this feeling!
It is fascinating for an audience member to not only come and see one concert, but to see a journey through one or two or three concerts: how the instrumentalists play according to the repertoire and how they also develop a relationship with the audience. Which for me is the heart of O/Modernt: to share an incredible variety of programmes, but also to develop a deeper relationship with the audience over a few nights.
The programme “Bartók, Brahms and the Roaming Spirits” presents the fascinating musical world of the Carpathian Basin. What is it about this region that intrigues you?
I remember playing in Romania and going to a bar after a concert with traditional live music. There you hear this total freedom, this love, this passion, these rhythms and it is just so much joy, so much fun, and also the sorrow of life. You have this combination of ecstatic dancing and joy, but also a depth to it. I am very much attracted to many types of folk music, because it really is something which comes back to the fundamentals of who we are and why we make music. This expression, this joy of sharing…
The other element of folk music is its improvisatory nature: it is not written down in a traditional sense, but really passed on. The colours and the intonation are often lost when one writes something down, transcribes music. But if one goes through the oral tradition, a lot of that is kept alive.
And then in particular the way Bartók and Brahms are inspired by this type of music making … it infuses this stricter language with so much vital energy! I love the way more classical composers work with this material, and how it transforms their language from within.
Miklós Lukács · Roma Traditional „Zöld az erdő“
The second programme, “Milestones”, combines music from different times and spaces, Miles Davis meets medieval times.
What I love doing with O/Modernt is connecting totally different styles of music from different cultures, different peoples, different eras and reflecting on this, both their differences but also their similarities. And what I find in medieval music and renaissance music, the modal element (both harmonic and rhythmic), is actually very close to jazz and to Miles Davis in particular, but also to Stravinsky. Hence this connection. Also, Josquin des Préz is often considered the first romantic composer in the sense that he was the first who people recognized by name, with some certain… element of fame, as it were. It is interesting to hear that music from a total different time, when the cult of personality began to grow. And then you have obviously Miles Davis and Stravinsky, whose personalities have played such an important role, so there is also this cultural link between them. Then I think, purely on a sonic level, they work fantastically together. And there is also the melancholy in all three composers which is drawn out as well.
Part of the Young Euro Classic Residency is also to offer a format for children. What was important to you when coming up with the Next Generation master course?
The whole concept is quite simple in the sense of traveling around the world and meeting different styles and musics, from serious music to folk music to more jazz music to carnival-style music – and to really open up the ears of young students to totally different worlds that they might not have experienced before. That is one of the strengths of O/Modernt: to bring and relate different styles of music together, to show their differences, but also to delight in their similarities and how they really are this expression of what it means to be human.
What excites you most when you think of this intergenerational constellation?
I love working with young players and children, because they come with such a freshness and curiosity and love. I think the energy that the youth bring to concerts, to the rehearsal process, is invigorating and really inspiring. Although we are offering something very special and unique for the young ones, they also give us an enormous amount. Again, it is this symbiotic relationship, as with the audience and the players. We build it up: the more they enter into our world, the more we can enter into theirs and share more and more together.
Which knowledge do you hope to instil in the young people?
Whatever it is, to engage them and have them feeling they are playing a crucial role. The key is to enable them to feel they are creators. They are not just coming to play along in an O/Modernt project, it is much less a teacher-student relationship, but more that those who are older are facilitators opening up and allowing the young ones to really discover themselves through the process. And we are the facilitators. It can be playing three notes, it can be playing a whole symphony: Whatever one does, one does it with quality and love and devotion and passion.
Thank you for your time, Hugo Ticciati!
Find more information about the concerts here:
Next Generation Children’s Concert „Nils Holgersson’s Musical Journey Around the World“
Photo credit: © Kaupo Kikkas