Topolčany / SK
Cluster ensemble goes Europe!
A day of Slovak contemporary art organized by Platform 1-12.
Regular Line 2015 is an event evolving around the conceptual art of Monogramista T•D. including music, art exhibition and intermedia performance.
Concert of Cluster ensemble playing Similar Motion by Philip Glass.
Intermedia performance Bonjour Monogramista T•D, with Petra Fornayova and Maja Osojnik.
One day pop-up exhibition Portraits of Masters by Martin Derner.
Music with Changing Parts. Slovak premiere.
“After the arrival to Košice we went to the concert, where Cluster Ensemble played, with absolute brilliance, Glass‘ Music with Changing Parts. This piece from 1971 varies in length from 70 minutes to 3 hours. At the time the composition was written Glass used to perform it with his ensemble [The Philip Glass Ensemble]. Since then, not only has he not performed it, he couldn’t even have heard it, because nobody else found the courage to pick up the piece.
When he found out that the Slovak group had prepared the piece, Glass asked, with surprise: “Where did they get the material? It wasn’t even published.” The truth was, that it had indeed been possible to order the music, but nobody did, until now. This was the first case. And the young musicians (up to 30 y. of age) play the piece as if it was Glass himself with his ensemble, with the same enthusiasm, the same precision, magic and a certain feeling, which – fortunately – cannot be described with words. After the concert Glass said: “If the young generation can play it like this – I am satisfied.”
For me everything would be in perfect order if this music was performed at least as often, as they do with the concerts by Tchaikovsky or with Chopin’s etudes. This kind of music has a lot to say to us, but it seems rather strange that we are somehow still not ready to take it in.”
Eun Joo Noh
The word cluster has several meanings in English. Those which relate the closest to the ensemble’s name are “group” and “key” (simply, “a group of keys”). I remember how it all began: Ivan Šiller, then a PhD. student at the Academy od Music and Performing Arts, led a special seminar for pianists which aimed at presenting the 20th and 21st century piano literature to the young musicians. One of his dreams was to perform Steve Reich’s Six Pianos together with the students. But where to find six pianos in one room in Slovakia? Well, in a music instruments store! In Medená street in Bratislava…
It was an extraordinary experience. The store was full of people, others were standing outside, on the sidewalk in front of the shop window. And inside… Six Pianos performed by Ivan and his students. Later it was Reich’s Four Organs, a slightly different group of keys, in A4 [a culture centre]…
After some time the initial idea – in our milieu an utterly brave and original one – of playing pieces where keyboard instruments prevail grew to encompass graphic score and other unusual works. Cluster Ensemble – a group of uncommon people, playing uncommon music in uncommon ways – stands today undoubtedly for a high level of quality. Ivan, Fero and other search for and discover the music for us, then they study it and perform it. Always with excitement, love, concentration and creativity. And then, in their hands, the music – whatever its origins might be – speaks to us in a very intense tone…
Daniel Matej, May 23, 2015
Platform 1 - 12 | Topolčany | SK
Platform 1 - 12
6:00 pmSimilar Motion
Philip Glass, Music in Similar Motion (1969)
Philip Glass, Two Pages (1968)
Ivan Šiller, electric organ
Fero Király, electric organ
“Philip Glass live was hypnotic. Siller and Király grasped the philosophy of Glass’ music perfectly and passed it onto the audience. I admire highly their courage to choose the pieces they did.”
The project Similar Motion, named after one of the pieces by Philip Glass, comprises the following works: Two Pages (1968), Music in Fifths (1969), Music in Contrary Motion (1969) and Music in Similar Motion (1969). The works are performed on two electric organs.
And this is music? Of course.
“Fero Király and Ivan Šiller have demonstrated to the parent, that here is more to music than just the individual virtuosity of their skillful kid. It is a means of communication between the members of a group. That almost anyone could become a soloist, yet he or she would not mean the same without the contact with other musicians. That there are no nicer and uglier sounds and that the sound can only be a sound when it stands opposite to silence. That it is even possible to play silence. And that it can be surprisingly suspenseful!” „Király and Šiller reckoned quite correctly that this principle of playing, based on intuition and creativity, is very close at the heart of the child musician, who doesn’t necessarily possess the perfect technique, but excels at spontaneity and emotionality. These are the most valuable elements of their project.”
17th December 2014 | Marián Myška | www.mojakultura.sk
…extraordinary musical experience…
Cluster Ensemble provided us with nontraditional musical experience which was sporadically quite complex but definitely worth (the spectator’s) effort. (Livingroom project).
30th October 2009 | stanica.sk | stanica.sk
exact rhythm, high level of concentration…
Their concert performance of Livingroom demanded exact rhythm, feeling of dynamics and high level of concentration. Such musical “speech” clearly links musicians’ philosophy and spirituality. It’s the intimate grasp of each tone that is delivered to the audience and if the listeners are able to catch the wave formed by the music, the interpretation is in the right place. The auditorium starts meditating.
21st October 2010 | Mária Hricová | kuultur.com
An unusual musical concept offered the audience an experience, which is not common in this world
An extraordinary music experiment took place at Stanica Žilina-Záriečie in December. Piano players comprising Cluster Ensemble and their guests played a concert lasting for 24 hours. They performed song by Eric Satie called Vexations, written in 1893, which has only three lines of score but the author added the instructions to play it 843 times in a row. The artists decided to slightly adjust the author’s request and played the piece for exactly 24 hours. This unusual musical concept offered the audience an experience, which is not common in this world. Because the performance is quite demanding, musicians play it very rarely. At the end of each hour the piano was accompanied by the musicians of Transmusic comp. They improvised, playing different musical instruments and objects – e.g plastic bottles bound by a piece of fibre, used as a string instrument. Also spectators helped to create relaxed atmosphere. They had a great time and some of them even brought sleeping bags and stayed overnight.
11th January 2012 | Peter Cibulka | zilinskyvecernik.sk
It’s the same feeling as when you fall in love for the first time
It’s the same feeling as when you fall in love for the first time. You don’t expect it and suddenly an amazing piece of music hits you. You can’t resist it, you put everything you wanted to do off and you wish it would never end. It happened to me on Wednesday in August. I pass Mada Music which is located at the same address as our Nu Spirit bar few times every day. Instead of standard rock guitar roaring I was “attacked” by Steve Reich. The international Cluster Ensemble was practicing Six Pianos. 15 minutes later, while talking to one of the piano players Dalibor Kocián, known as Stroon in the electronic scene, we agreed on a concert in our club. It’s going to be the first event when “classical” music will be performed in our v enue. I’m really glad that Dalibor will be involved because he’s the most competent to represent the intersection between the two worlds of concert halls and electronic clubs. We are always happy to bring something new to the club scene.
15th September 2010 | Rado Tomek aka DJ Kinet | Nu Spirit Club
It was an honor for us to welcome Cluster Ensemble
It was an honor for Stanica to host four piano players rotating for one day (or 24 hours, or even 86 400 seconds) behind a white grand piano which we got thanks to all of you who contributed. Ivan Šiller, Fero Király, Zuzana Biščáková and Kamil Mihalov were playing, without a break, from Saturday 6pm to Sunday 6pm. They performed the song Vexations by Erik Satie, for 840 times. Each hour (except the small hours of the next day) they were accompanied by the members of Transmusic Comp. (Milan Adamčiak, Peter Machajdík, Michal Murin, Zbyněk Prokop and Robo Bartko). In some cases they even woke up the spectators who could sleep over in the hall during the night.
19th December 2011 | stanica.sk | stanica.sk
Reich conquered the club, New York has arisen
…The Nu Spirit Club in Bratislava got suddenly empty. It was just before 10pm in the club, where electronic music is usually played, when music minimalism of Steve Reich resounded the space. International group Cluster Ensemble began their performance with the composition Four Organs. (…) When playing Music for Pieces of Wood, the listeners were moving to the beat of the claves. And while dynamic Six Pianos was being played, the bartender was jumping mischievously as if her favorite DJ was spinning the decks. Reich’s music in the club atmosphere sounded more naturally than in a large concert hall. Just above the stage which was occupied by six digital pianos, just above Cluster Ensemble which also features musicians from Italy and South, a film of perpetually moving images, movement cut-outs from a train and highway was screened. They were just like the music.
14th September 2011 | Juraj Fellegi | ekumst.sk
… Great names attract masses to festivals but usually it is the unknown artists that cause the most pleasant surprises. Such example was the Slovak group Cluster Ensemble which performed its concept called Livingroom. A group of artists from various areas substituted typically megalomaniac words with evil-eyed rhythm and big gestures with amazing originality. A palette of ideas transformed into fragments of sounds and motifs performed while playing a toy piano, constantly condensing rhythm played on claves or invoking sounds from filled wine glasses. Their playfulness and creativity charmed us with simplicity of the idea and the funniest form possible.
18th July 2011 | Tomáš Slaninka | .týždeň, 2011
The outcome was astounding… a living room transformed into the scene from a Fellini’s film
Another extraordinary experience was the concert of Cluster Ensemble who were invited by Ľubica Veselá and the director of Eastern Slovak Gallery Lena Lešková. “We wanted to meet each other for a long time but we kept postponing the meeting. So we said to ourselves: “We are going into it!”. We also had visitors form Switzerland and they were delighted. The idea is amazing.” “A group of four musicians played contemporary music: Reich, Cage, Burlas. They used the equipment found in the living room and their own hands to play the music. But the result was astounding. Together with the invited guests, the living room transformed into a scene from a Fellini’s film.
30th May 2011 | Jana Ogurčáková | SME 2011