Elena Rykova: Asymptotic Freedom II (2020/21) for six electric guitars, World Premiere / Commission of the Darmstadt Summer Course, La Muse en Circuit and Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik
UFA Sextet (Participants of the Darmstadt Summer Course): Giuseppe Mennuti (Electric Guitar) Chris Moy (Electric Guitar) Francesco Palmieri (Electric Guitar) Ruben Mattia Santorsa (Electric Guitar) Alex Tentor (Electric Guitar) Samuel Toro Pérez (Electric Guitar)
When Yaron Deutsch had the idea of commissioning a volume containing 12 Studies for electric guitar for his guitar class at the Darmstadt Summer Course 2018, Elena Rykova was among the composers requested to submit a contribution. The piece entitled Knowhow to skyrocket your Stratocaster and zigzag to Callisto (which can be heard again in Darmstadt on 4 August 2021 performed by the Kranichstein Music Prize winner for Interpretation 2018, Carlo Siega) formed the starting point for an intensive encounter with this instrument which has extended over several years. In collaboration with Yaron Deutsch, a concept emerged for a further larger-scale project with the guitar studio in Darmstadt. The Russian composer who lives in the USA immediately began to work on a piece for six electric guitars in response to a commission issued jointly by the Darmstadt Summer Course, the centre La Muse en Circuit and the contemporary music festival Wittener Tagen für neue Kammermusik. The composition has grown over a series of stages: during a period of residence at La Muse en Circuit in Paris in February 2020, Rykova was able to experiment with initial ideas with the group and become acquainted with the various profiles and personalities of the performers. The months of lockdown began soon afterwards, but intensive communication and continuing research remained possible on both sides. For the twelve-minute version at the Wittener Tage, each individual part had to be recorded at different locations and then compiled by the composer like a piece of electronic music. Rykova however describes the process as her best collaboration to date, precisely due to the challenging circumstances: “The piece became a safe metaphysical location in which were able to meet and co-exist on a certain level with one another and play for each other.” In Darmstadt, we will experience the premiere of the approximately sixty-minute complete version of Asymptotic Freedom.