The ULYSSES partner institutions have identified all together a certain number of young international composers, conductors and performers in the objective to offer them the possibility to construct a “journey”, with stops in different partner institutions. Composers, performers, conductors and ensembles have been able to undertake journeys providing them with rich and diverse experiences not offered elsewhere. These journeys offer the opportunity to participate in varied projects, workshops, masterclasses, residencies etc. in the realm of contemporary creation and to benefit from special conditions (no participation fees, support for travel and accommodation costs, etc.). We interviewed some of the young artists who participated the journeys during 2019.
Andrew Power is a cellist based in Copenhagen. Interview was made at Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland) in July 2019.
“The ULYSSES Network has completely changed the game for me and broadened my outlook. I have participated in the ULYSSES ensemble in 2018 and 2019, to ULYSSES journeys at Time of Music 2019 (Viitasaari, Finland) and will travel also to the International Summer Academy for Contemporary Music in Hamburg. The projects have provided me invaluable connections with musicians, composers and organizations as well as opportunities to develop myself artistically. I find it really interesting working with musicians from different countries and different professional backgrounds. Everybody brings in their own musical heritage and it is wonderful.
At Time of Music working with Camilla Hoitenga was great, she has direct contacts to many composers and she knows very well for example Kaija Saariaho and her music. Also going to concerts was very useful, by listening to others I understood things I can use in my own playing. The course also made it possible to have a solo performance in front of composers, some of which have heard me only in orchestras or ensembles. It was of course a lot of concerts and lessons to fit in one week!
My personal experience of the ULYSSES Network is that during the last two years participating the various projects I feel like I’ve gotten the equivalent of another Master’s course. Also after meeting other fellow ULYSSES participants in different projects, we form a kind of a large community. In the future I am very interested in developing my duo with accordionist, and I think the ULYSSES Network could be useful since many of the member organizations offer residencies and other kind of support, which is very important.“
More about Andrew Power: https://www.andrewpowercello.com/
Andrew Power at Time of Music. Photo: Sami Sorasalmi
Roosa Lampela is a Finnish trombonist based in Copenhagen. The interview was made via mail in November 2019.
"Ulysses platform has offered me a possibility to take part Darmstadt Summer Course 2018. September this year I was glad to spent two weeks in Italy where I played with Divertimento ensemble in Divertimento conducting course.
Both experiences have given me more knowledge about new music and the possibilities what we can do in contemporary music scene. I've listened fantastic concerts and met great people!
Ulysses platform has offered me chance to dive deeper to the world of modern classical music, and that is significant in terms of the direction I want to my career to take."
Michael Taplin is a UK based composer, who was interviewed in February 2019 at impuls academy, Graz.
”impuls is my first ULYSSES journey stop. I am taking part in the Composers meet Accordionists workshop for which I wrote a piece. Additionally, I am having private lectures from composer tutors and attending open lectures and concerts. Later this year I will complete my ULYSSES journey project with Internationale Ensemble Modern Academie ensemble. I will attend the first workshop in Frankfurt in March to try out ideas with a final performance of my new piece in a concert as part of the Gaudeamus Muziekweek in September.
At impuls it has been a useful collaborative experience to work with accordionists Marko Trivunovic and Dorde Vasiljevic who have been able to develop my understanding of writing for accordion, as well as make connections with the composer tutors. I am also very glad to have met the musicians in the IEMA ensemble, with whom I will continue working with in one month in Frankfurt and later next autumn. I think the journey project is particularly useful for a composer from the UK. It is not often that composers based in the UK are offered the chance to attend major European festivals and academies. It is particularly important that younger composers, who are still developing their artistic voice, are challenged by different musical thought processes and styles occurring outside the UK.
A common occurrence that I have noticed in these kinds of composer schemes like the journey project is the lack of follow up performances/commissions. Many of the schemes are good and useful in terms of learning and connections in themselves, but it would be much more useful for them to lead to a commission or another project. If ones's music is well-received as a result of participating in a composers' scheme, it would be even more beneficial if it would result in further opportunities.”
More about Michael: http://www.michaeltaplincomposer.co.uk/
Composer Michael Taplin. Photo: Kevin Leighton.
Leonardo Marino is a Milan based composer. The interview was done at Time of Music in July 2019.
”I’ve attended so far to a ULYSSES journey try-out session in Frankfurt with Internationale Ensemble Modern Academie ensemble and now this Time of Music course with Kaija Saariaho. The project with IEMA will be completed in September at Gaudeamus Muziekweek, and then I have a residency period in November at Snape Maltings.
Working with IEMA was a really nice experience. I think a project without a composer tutor is interesting and sometimes even better, because it is like working in a professional environment. It is a very strong experience when it is just you and the ensemble. IEMA is very committed to contemporary music, working with composers and finding the solutions. The results in the very first tryouts was unbelievable - the first time we tried the compositional fragments they were already perfect. In Viitasaari the time to work with Kaija is very sparse and of course it would be great to have more time with her.
I think ULYSSES journeys are a good way to connect young composers and young academy musicians to work together in projects. What would be also very useful is to have a small residence working with a professional ensemble. I feel that contemporary music world is becoming more about schools, academies and workshops, and in that environment the ULYSSES project could offer something that is not that common by making it possible to work with professionals.”
Read more about Leonardo: https://leonardo-marino.com/
Leonardo Marino (with flowers) at Time of Music composition course with Kaija Saariaho final concert. Photo: Sami Sorasalmi
Vitaliy Kyianytsia (b. in 1991) is a Ukrainian pianist and composer, who lives in Germany and plays in LUX:NM ensemble in Berlin. The interview was made at Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland).
”I’ve recently finished the one year Internationale Ensemble Modern Academie in Frankfurt and a Master’s degree in new piano music in Stuttgart with professor Nicholas Hodges. IEMA (ULYSSES Network partner) was the most useful experience of contemporary music for me. It was one very intensive and powerful year that felt like a full master’s degree. Our group was very strong and nice, and we did great concerts during that year.
Viitasaari Time of Music Festival and chamber music course with Camilla Hoitenga is my first ULYSSES journey. The course is not so intensive, so we have a lot of time to prepare each piece. ULYSSES journey made it possible to attend this course: Viitasaari is a unique place and a legendary festival, but coming here is not very easy on your own. The journey was very well organized. Because the group of students and also the town is rather small, we have plenty of opportunities to work on the pieces, get together and create connections. Also the ULYSSES platform has been a useful tool for me. I check calls regularly from the platform where everything is very compact.”
Read more about Vitaliy from his ULYSSES profile.
Vitaily Kyianytsia. Photo: Vincent Stefan
Born in 1988, Lauri Supponen (FI) is currently working as a freelance composer, based in Helsinki. The interview was made at impuls, Graz in February 2019.
”This is my first ULYSSES Journey stop. Two years ago I was at impuls also, and this time I am taking part in the intensive programme Extended Percussion Composition with 10 composers and 10 percussionists. We meet every morning together with tutors Michael Maierhof and Christian Dierstein and work intensively towards the final presentations of the works in progress. I also had a lesson with composer Isabel Mundry, where we fruitfully discussed this upcoming work. I have also started another piece for members of the course, so our cooperation will continue after this.
I find the ULYSSES Journeys concept useful. The opportunity to visit different festivals and academies in different countries and the financial support to do so are very important for composers and artists in the beginning of their carreers. What I would like to add to the programme is some kind of alumnae meeting. Professional connections can well last many years without being in active contact, but it would be great that there would be a coordinated meeting after 5, 10 or 15 years to share experiences and plan cooperations.”
Read more about Lauri here: laurisupponen.fi
Lauri Supponen's rehearsals at impuls. Photo: Arnold Haber
Trombonist Joseph Mumm (Bachelor in NE, USA and Masters in Trossingen, Germany) was interviewed at impuls, Graz February 2019.
”I’ve taken part in ULYSSES Journeys at Time of Music (Viitasaari, Finland) and here at impuls. I also applied to the ULYSSES ensemble this coming year. The journeys have been a very great learning experience for me. These two weeks here at impuls have included amazing tutors, working with composers and performing and listening to interesting concerts. I am also a composer, and it has been a very inspiring time here as it was at Time of Music. Being around people who are interested in pushing the boundaries and having interesting discussions with them gives you new input and new insights.
ULYSSES journeys is a good concept in my opinion. Especially for a freelancer, navigating the contemporary music world is all about connections. The amount of people I’ve met here is huge from students to tutors who are working professionals and now know me as an artist. If I need to organize something, I have a pool of people ready to be contacted, and that is so valuabe. Financially the help provided by the network was very important also.
One of the main challenges working in the freelance environment is finding the right venues and getting their commitment. Here I hope the ULYSSES Network could be of more help for young professionals.”
See Joseph Mumm's ULYSSES Profile here.
Trombonist Joseph Mumm