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the empire never ended >
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the empire never ended (2013)
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The Empire Never Ended is a transcription, using musical notation, of a man speaking in tongues on a recording from 1948. He is believed to be in a state of trance and his vocalizations have not been recognized as belonging to any known human language. We know nothing about the mother tongue of the speaker, nor do we know anything about his particular faith.

During a performance of the piece the original recording is played back in a speaker system while one or many musicians follow the recording and the notation as closely as possible in unison and octaves. The piece operates at the intersection where complete control and complete lack of control coincide. To perform the piece a musician will have to summon all precision and all concentration. At the same time he/she will have to put these very same abilities in the hands of a power beyond any human control. A power we know nothing about.

The Empire Never Ended was originally written for Ensemble Modern and commissioned by the BHF-Bank-Stiftung for Frankfurter Positionen 2013.

The work is based on the recording ‘Banta Trance Speech’ found on the CD release:
'Occult Voices – Paranormal Music, Recordings of unseen Intelligences 1905-2007'
published by Thomas Knoefel und Andreas Fischer, Köln, 2007