Mauricio Kagel 1931-2008
Two-Man Orchestra (1971-73)
In 2011, a new version of Mauricio Kagel's Two-Man Orchestra (1971-73) was realized in Basel and performed by the two one-man orchestras Wilhelm Bruck and Matthias Würsch at the Museum Tinguely. A production of the research department of the University of Music Basel, the Paul Sacher Foundation and point de vue. The video documentation was developed in collaboration with students of the Institute of Art of the HGK FHNW, Basel under the direction of Reinhard Manz.

ZWEI-MANN-ORCHESTER [Two-Man Orchestra] for two one-man orchestras (1971–73), described by its creator Mauricio Kagel (1931–2008) as an "unautonomous automatophone," is surely one of the strangest yet most original pieces of contemporary music ever composed.

When it was premièred at the Donaueschingen Festival in 1973, Kagel and his musicians, Wilhelm Bruck and Theodor Ross, surprised their mystified audience with a gigantic contraption pieced together from more than 200 broken, battered and discarded instruments and dysfunctional sound-generators. They were played with the aid of strings, rods, levers and all manner of other movable elements by the smallest combination of musicians capable of forming an ensemble. The traditional instrumental body of the renowned festival that had commissioned the work – the orchestra – was reflected in a caricature raised to the level of sound-art.

In 2011 a new version of ZWEI-MANN-ORCHESTER was produced in Basel as part of a joint project involving the Paul Sacher Foundation, the Hochschule für Musik Basel and the Museum Tinguely. It marks the third rendering of this conceptual score following its world première and a second version produced at the Kassel Documenta IX in 1992.

Mauricio Kagel in UbuWeb Sound