Martin Brenne talks about music being his companion and his opponent to whom he succumbs.. He likes absolute music and he is explaining why there is a necessity to find an own way of expression with sound.
Music is a mean of expression, a companion, an opponent to whom I succumb, a challenge, a provocation, an allayer, a bringer of joy, giver of unimagined joy, an origin of ultimate despair but also something astounding – particularly when I succeed as composer.
Do you agree that music is all about fantasy?
Yes, of course: in the end it’s the “fantasy” (I prefer the word “idea”) which lifts the felicitous compositions out of the mass of music. The performer and composer can have the idea.
Consequently, the idea is the last step. The rest is craft, artistic will, and unerring judgement. Learning this is not the easiest thing – but the most important skill is to get rid of unsatisfying things.
In the end, music is all about fantasy. Let’s say, perhaps.
If you were not a professional musician, what would you have been?
How do you envision the role of classical music in the 21st century? Do you see that there is a change in its role?
I notice that some composers widen the frontiers of music. Amongst others, acting, painting, performing, and video art sometimes become the center of what is called music or composing. The reason for this expansion is often political, but for me, sound should be the essential element of music. Music can still be absolute.
Moreover, there is no necessity for political music, there is no necessity for meaning of music. The necessity is to find an own way of expression with sound. Then we talk about music.
When everything else such as acting, painting, performing and video art is combined with music, it is referred to as being multidisciplinary.
Do you think that the classical musician today needs to be more creative? What’s the role of creativity in the musical process for you?
When I am composing there is always something involved – most probably creativity.
Do you think we musicians can do something to attract young generations to classical music concerts? How would you approach it?
As teachers, we can expose students to classical music. The music will do the rest.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you have a favorite piece (written by you)? How did you start working on it?
This would probably be my first string quartet. When I went to Vienna for the holidays, I became ill, so that the only thing I could do was to drag my weak body to the piano which was fortunately in my room. I worked only on the theme of the second movement for one week and afterwards developed the whole composition from this cell.
We, Moving Classics TV, love the combination of classical music with different disciplines: music and painting, music and cinematography, music and digital art, music and poetry. What do you think about these combinations?
I think that all art forms can benefit from each other. Besides other music genres, the central source of inspiration for me is literature.
It is of common practice in the media outlet nowadays to discuss that classical music is being marketed as a product of the consumerist culture. Do you agree? We are speaking about the supply and demand rules and how to sell your “product” - in your case, your compositions. How do you see it?
Fortunately, I can work as a music teacher at a secondary school and as a music theory and analysis teacher at a college. Therefore, I can compose music I love. There are always requirements that have to be fulfilled, for example, writing film music or composing for a special ensemble. But I wouldn’t be able to give up my personal aesthetic idea.
Do you have any expectations for your listeners and your audience?
Keep your ears open.
What projects are coming up? Do you experiment in your projects?
I will write a piece for Trio Spiegelbild (violin, saxophone and piano) and symphonic pieces for the Jugendsinfonieorchester Mannheim.
Perhaps there will be room for experiments. We will see.