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Red Forest

2013
electronic music (stereo)
3:37 min.

Max Ernst’s painting Red Forest was created in 1970, after he had repeatedly dealt with forest as a theme in various creative phases. In his forest paintings, he processed his personal emotions and associations in relation to the forest. Emotionally, he found the forest oppressive and liberating at the same time. As an equivalent of the unconscious, it fuelled Ernst’s surrealist imagination. He was certainly aware that associations may change over time, but he probably did not suspect that the title Red Forest would appear particularly ambivalent sixteen years later. After the Chernobyl disaster, a patch of forest in the immediate vicinity of the nuclear power plant became known by that name because of the bright reddish-brown trunks of pine trees that had died from radiation exposure. The ambiguous title quote may fit the electronic composition, which associates natural processes with a backdrop of “atomically” rhythmicised sine tones.

first performance: Cologne, September 14, 2013

broadcast: WDR3 Konzert spezial/Live von der Kölner Musiknacht (September 15, 2013)

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