The Symphonie-Orchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks under Daniel Harding will open the Musikfest Berlin with a bang. Tutuguri, a young Wolfgang Rihm’s poème dansé, is unique in the composer’s oeuvre. Nowhere else did he unleash such unrestrained elementary forces, nowhere else does the rhythm, the percussion become such a focal point and goal of the music as in this score, with the percussionists executing the final part simply with a choir played through loudspeakers. Their equipment dominates the stage, and in addition four tam-tams are set up around the auditorium. They act as a centre and a driving force in a ritual music. The foundation for this is Antonin Artaud’s audio play on the rite of the black sun which the Tarahumara people in Mexico celebrate on an annual basis, a ritual that transmits its participants into other states of consciousness.
For Artaud, the text was not only to take effect through the spoken word but through all fibres of the action: “Everything must be brought precisely into raging order.” And so in Rihm’s music the text must in different ways “be equally present in each passage, in each note. When composing I attached the music to the text, the text brought forth this music – a ritual image of diverging energies.”