Johannes Kreidler Composer

Fantasies of Downfall (2015)

for Vibraphone, Audio and Video playback

Duration: 12'40"

Premiere: 1.8.2016 Darmstadt Summer School / Hakon Stene, Perc.

Rachel Hargroder, Denver 2019 / Playground Ensemble


- pre-revised version, played by Hakon Stene -



Although doomsday is sure as the sun and eventually all the energy of the universe burns up, at least for 500 million years the Earth will be habitable more or less as in its present form. Humanity can be considerably decimated through wars, plagues and natural disasters, but I think it is logistically impossible that over 7 billion people equipped with technology and strewed all over the globe, could be eradicated. Even the horrible World War II decreased the overall population just by 2%. Even a World War, Gottfried Benn said, ends up as a joke object at the root table. All apocalyptic fantasies (eg in movies like Melancholia) are nonsense, quasi-religious eschatology. Their popularity is unfortunate and something of a hubris: We want to there at the final end. Indeed it is, if we have another 500 millions of years left, that it is only a matter of time - stochastically one can say: probably pretty soon in relation to the whole - until mankind has reached the paradise on earth, thus providing a high standard of living for all without overexploitation of nature, and people do only work that they like to do, everything else is taken care by machines. The piece is about the fact that fantasies of decline are nothing but fantasies, in reality falling down, stumbling and the imagination of the doomsday are profane, real, dry, quite rationally describable or psychologically explainable. Hence, musically different, very accurate or complete representations of the downward movements are exposed: gravity, the movement patterns of stair steps, the interpretation of political movements on the streets, key movements with one direction and the opposite direction; the downward movement is a movement upwards.

The piece is about aesthetic-rational observations of downward movements, quite physical-concrete in the first part, geometric at the foot, deconstructed with the piano, abstracted in the part without video, the piano part then related to the notation, the foot part then related to political movements, the physical part then related to psychology with the shoes.

The Piece belongs to the Program "Music with the Real". Music with the Real was an artistic research project undertaken from 2014�2017 within the Norwegian Artistic Research Programme, at the Norwegian Academy of Music. It was initiated by percussionist H�kon Stene and composer Henrik Hellstenius, and included a series of commissions, concert performances, seminar lectures and text production involving a total of twenty contributors.







"dropping videos", Magdalena Cerezo, ZeitGenuss Festival Karlsruhe 2019


Commission of H�kon Stene for the project "Music with the Real"

See also: Lecture Sound and Gravity.