A Future In The Past 

Historically Informed Investigations into the Music of Udo Kasemets

Ensemble EMA (Estonian Electronic Music Society´s Ensemble)

Theodore Parker, Doris Hallmägi, Tarmo Johannes, Taavi Kerikmäe, Ekke Västrik

A Future In the Past is a research project engaging with the application of methods from Historically Informed Performance and Media Archeology towards problems found in the practice of Live Electronic music. In doing so the project sought to expose lost discourses in the medium as viewed from the performer’s perspective. Three pieces by composer Udo Kasemets were chosen as case studies. All compositions were originally written and performed prior to the 1990’s boom in digital processing. Each case study explores themes related to Liveness, Audience Interaction, and Hyper Instruments. In developing the historical context for each work several strategies were undertaken. Kasemets’ archives were reviewed at the University of Toronto, performers of the original pieces were interviewed, and investigations into period specific instruments were conducted. Additionally, Kasemets’ own published writings were used to reference his aesthetic ambitions as well as for comparison with his contemporaries. Rehearsals were carried out with The Estonian Electronic Music Ensemble, where the historical data and performer experiences were combined to create an individual interpretation for each composition. These interpretations were then presented to an audience alongside contemporary issues currently debated in Live Electronics