With an impressive span, with a wide range, stylistically boundless, cosmopolitan, holistically appealing to heart and mind, spiritual beyond ego and greed for profit; always in search of transcendence, peace and the preservation of nature, but nevertheless vital, motoric, playful and with an excessive desire for liveliness...

...instead of machine & computer there is soul, freedom, breathing, love and life!


PARADIGM SHIFT IS ESSENTIAL. In the 21st century at the latest, it has become clear that humanity needs a radical paradigm shift if it does not want to destroy itself and the planet: instead of egoism and nationalism, a planetary togetherness; instead of hyper-individualistic self-realisation, expansion and environmental destruction, a mindful ecology, reduction of busyness, respect for creation and nature.

Equal rights for all people regardless of skin colour, gender or religion, appreciation of children and the weakest members of society.

    In the last century, academic "new music", with its seemingly colonialist Eurocentrism, had all too one-sidedly defined what was avant-garde and modern.  Artistic creations and Arts in other - especially non-European - cultures were often prematurely trivialised as folklore, popular music or irrelevant only local activities. Academic "New Music" (as it is often still taught at German music academies) is easily suspected of being elitist and retreating into a "ghetto". Ideological divides are still being drawn between "E" (serious music) and "U" (entertaining music), and writing "service" music - for example for church, children's concerts or subscription concerts - is still considered obsolete.

        Strangely enough, foreign students in composition classes at German music academies, for example, suppress the roots, idioms and instruments of their own musical cultures and are aesthetically trimmed to imitate the grammar and expressive potential of Central European ones.

    The idea of ALBATROS flying across borders should stand for tolerance, respect for established musical traditions and "music for all". Internationally, it must be about cultural exchange on an equal footing: a genuine give and take is required, each culture is inspired by the other culture in a learning process.  CCC as "cross culture composing" not only connects styles across the globe on an equal footing (horizontal geographical aspect), but also across the traditions of past centuries (vertical historical aspect).  Instead of permanent avant-gardism and a frantic search for innovation, recourse to tradition, tonality and familiar patterns can certainly lead to a creative modernity - something that has been proven many times since postmodernism.


ALBATROS - THE PORTAL is intended to be a digital information centre where conductors, performers and people from the fields of artistic direction, concert organisation and programme conception (whether in the areas of orchestra, chamber music, ballet music or spiritual music) can find inspiration and ideas for a diversity of new music: The focus is on gripping, emotional, first-class and audience-tested works of all styles - solo, symphonic, ensemble music of all colours, film music, jazz, crossover - for philharmonic orchestras, chamber music halls, festival events and new presentation concepts for live music.


ALBATROS - DAS PORTAL is publisher-independent: based on information about the works (from instrumentation to duration or data on composers and style), there are audio and video trailers as well as music examples... If you are interested, please contact the publishers or distributors listed and they will handle everything else in the usual way in terms of operations, dispatch and sales.


ALBATROS - THE PORTAL will be controlled by a board of trustees consisting of various publishers/institutions in a self-governing manner by appointing a management board in the sense of web hosting, which will then operationally maintain the web portal. The language will be English, but can also be adapted to geopolitical conditions, for example in German, Chinese, Spanish or French.


ALBATROS - THE PORTAL does not want to promote competitive thinking and a sense of demarcation. There are no enemy stereotypes. Tolerance for all forms of musical expression. Even extremely unique avant-garde works of the highest complexity as well as experimental sound research are valuable impulses that have their meaning and justification in the large mosaic of the phenomenon of "music".

      The term "academic new music" is not used disavowingly, but is merely intended to indicate the fundamental directions of newer music as they have become generally recognisable since Th. W. Adorno (and hierarchically evaluated there):

  1. The Viennese School (Schönberg, Berg, Webern) was seen as dominant as "New Music", which was then continued in free atonality, serialism through to New Complexity or Musique spectrale. It was also continued in the work of many well-known names (in Europe f.e. from O. Messiaen to K. Stockhausen, P. Boulez, L. Nono, M. Kagel, I. Xenakis. G. Ligeti or in more recent generations such as W. Rihm, H. Lachenmann, M. Spahlinger, M. Trojahn to B. Ferneyhough, Gérard Grisey and others).
  2. On the other hand, the names that remained more closely associated with tonal music were more in the background of the new music taught in academic circles - and often ridiculed as too simple: P. Hindemith, H. Distler, B. Britten, F. Poulenc, D. Milhaud, J. Francaix or the 'fringe European' greats such as E. Rautavaara (Finland), Ghia Kancheli (Georgia), A. Terterjan (Armenia), N. Theodorakis (Greece), De Falla (Spain).

In addition to the two-track antinomy of 'tonal-atonal' (roughly classified according to the music philosophy of Th. W. Adorno), the American minimalists (La Monte Young, Steve Reich, Phil Glass), a style of repetitive music has existed since the 1960s which, despite its international significance, was often relegated to the realm of popular music and hardly ever taught in german academia. The international diversity of New Music has now become enormous and unmanageable, especially when the concertante works of film music, jazz music and intercultural crossover, which have become very demanding, are also included. This is where ALBATROS should provide impulses, literally focussing on "playlists" and new names.


ALBATROS - THE PORTAL endeavours to steer clear of all classifications and artistic evaluations and the animosities often associated with them. The portal contains works from all segments that are suitable for concert performances and which stand side by side on an equal footing. New are certainly the names from the areas of film music, jazz music and crossover, for some the names from the Scandinavian or Slavic cultural areas and from other parts of the world, where the Asia-Pacific region in particular is becoming increasingly dominant. Also new are the names of the female representatives, whose compositions are also emphatically brought under the roof of this portal. Surprising diversity and professional quality will remain the portal's criteria.


ALBATROS - THE PORTAL is to develop according to the snowball system: from initially only a few names of a community of composers orientated towards internationality, multi-stylistics and an immediate emotional effect on the audience, a direction of new music is to emerge that will increasingly find its way into concert venues, orchestras and ensembles across the globe. Music from the spirit of the "albatros".



   In order to clarify the characteristics of "Music for a New Earth", some polarities are developed below: These are not antagonistic pairs of opposites, but rather exemplary visualisations of profiles. The dualities are more of a theoretical nature. In compositional practice, the characteristics separated here intermingle in a complex and hardly systematisable variety. “Exceptions confirm the rules.”


1) a) Academic New Music is dominated by the isolated "I", the ego and “the individual” (literally: the indivisible). Th. W. Adorno called for “analytical listening” here. Organisation, processes and construction are ordered with clear thinking, rationality, abstraction and logical discipline - often using theories and systems. Rationality primarily has something cool about it.

b) The "Music for a New Earth", on the other hand, emphasises a planetary "we", “the dividual” (literally: the divisible) as being connected to everything that has long since become common knowledge in quantum physics. In addition to thinking and reasoning, feelings, the language of the heart, intuition and the subconscious are the important shaping principles. In principle, there is something warm about the foreground of heart and feelings.


2) a) Everything is organised and set out in writing. Precise reading and realisation

of the musical text. Dominance of the cognitive, of counting and measuring. Performers must adhere almost slavishly to the instructions of the notation. Little personal freedom, e.g. to bring in one's own emotions (such as a unique vibrato or timbre).

b) The "music for a new earth", on the other hand, also recognises non-written traditions (clearly in ethnological styles and in jazz). The scope for intonational deviations (e.g. glissandi) and micro-intervals and the scope for temporal deviations (ritardisation, accelerations, pauses for breath) are very large.


3) a) In academic new music, works have a precisely elaborated form

 and definite work contours. There is hardly any space for changes, spontaneous                                                                              

 Improvisation. Performers are executors. Aleatoric passages usually only exist in highly complex contexts and hardly allow the performer any personal expressive profile.

b) "Music for a new earth" often has a fluid work character with instrumentation  

variations, diverse arrangements. Improvisations can sometimes spontaneously change the mood.


4) a) The musical material is found while writing at the desk or computer on the basis of theories, systems and rules. “Reflection as permanent control”.

 b) In many other genres, from jazz to film and ethno, the musical material is found with less reflection. The musical elements, the material is found intuitively while playing, learning by doing, …is found in the flow - while making music intuitively.

     This liveliness and distance from the theory-based composing, was also typical of many classical composers: Bach, Handel, Beethoven, Mozart, Chopin were performer-composers who first improvised their works and performed them …without the written form of the solo part.


5) a) Academic New Music is under permanent pressure to innovate. Repetition and redundancy (such as a “da capo”) are just as frowned upon as the

compositional use of already familiar linguistic gestures, patterns, stereotypes and pre-existing semantics. Repetitions are considered" as non-creative" compositional achievement.

b) The "Albatros music" is not afraid of 'already known flight paths', is not afraid of repetition, redundancy, of preexisting  patterns. "Musical vocabulary" (i.e. pre-existing tonal language building blocks) are given a new meaning, above all through the innovative sonority given by the performers. Redundancy is perceived as a physical pleasure in postmodern forms of music: Comparable to the pleasure of sensually walking through an avenue with hundreds of trees, an endless chain of repeated phrases (prototype: Ravel's Boléro) can also give sensual pleasure.


6) a) Due to the necessary reading, thinking, counting and checking, the intellect is constantly challenged. Mind and cognitive presence prevent us from providing sensors for the intuitive (unconscious) perception of the wisdom of the quantum field). b) In the "Music for a New Earth", the intuitive connection, the transpersonal and universal experience of a transcendental sphere beyond thinking often plays a major role

Especially repetitions ("standstill in the movement") are often the triggers of trance. They are often the triggers of a gliding into a higher state of consciousness.

Then the language of the heart becomes more powerful than the cool language of the mind and the intellect. It is not for nothing that when English speakers call it

"playing by heart" whe they do not read written score, or when French speakers use "jouer par coeur" when they perform music without looking to a sheet.


As I said, the comparison between academic New Music and "Music for a New Earth" is not about competing judgement or devaluation. It is about recognising the essence. One kind of new music, often extremely complex, is aimed primarily at adults and specialised people capable of abstraction. The "music for a new earth" is aimed less at a specialised "ghetto", but rather - as a prototype of film music and jazz - at a broad audience: Film music, for example, must be immediately "understandable" without prior verbal explanations. Jazz and ethnological forms of music also do not need analytical programme books with discursive introductory texts. The 'analytical listening' that Adorno demanded for new music is certainly an indication of a highly developed musical culture - but many people, who are often trapped in tiring, alienating work processes, rarely achieve the high level of concentration required here.

    The "music for a new earth" is, however, generally comprehensible to a wide audience: in a semiotic context, it uses a stock of signs that still contains traditional meanings and meanings that can be learnt in the redundancy of repetitions. Adorno's devaluation of 'emotional listening' is, by the way, one of the most blatant Eurocentric arrogances.

             It is not easy to remain objective and non-judgemental here (i.e. not to play off "high culture" against a more tangible music culture). It's a matter of weighing things up. However, it is safe to point out a manifest collateral damage that academic new music has caused: This new music is far too adult-centred and painfully neglects the musical needs of children and young people. In music education (especially in instrumental lessons in the schools) and in amateur music, children are literally driven into the clutches of commercial pop and popular music. In piano lessons, for example, pop songs and ballads are played 95% of the time - because the new composers are only interested in producing textures that are as complex and self-reflective as possible - but they are not interested in writing "play music for young people".

     Commercial pop has long since irreversibly found its way into schools, church music, instrumental music and amateur music. ALBATROS and the "Music for a New Earth" would be a great opportunity to set new standards here and bring inspiring "classical role models" back into concert halls and music stages.

     ALBATROS can become a transcultural bundling of concert and event repertoire, in which not only composers and their publishers, but also performers, conductors, radio and feature editors, festival directors, artistic directors and orchestra directors can participate.

ALBATROS - the repertoire of great diversity for a musical community of an openminded future.


* * * This was a text by Enjott Schneider that was written strongly from the German central European experience. Hotspots of contemporary music such as music festivals in Donaueschingen, Witten Darmstadt or the Eclat Festival in Stuttgart have a very dominant influence on the "direction of new music". In other countries, such as the USA or France, the names are somewhat different, but the phenomena there (new music for specialists rather than for the general public) are the same.