Mouse On Mars might have emerged as part of the great 1990s new wave of electronic music, but their restless, irreverent and wildly inventive work has always set them apart from their contemporaries. For Jan Werner and Andi Toma there is no division between the cerebral and the physical - they combine a connoisseur’s love of sonic texture with a hedonistic urge to dance. Even at its most complex, their music never feels too intellectual, and even at its most experimental it’s never forbidding.
Listen to a preview of Paeanumnion now!
Paeanumnion - Mouse on Mars with musikFabrik (excerpt 1)
Paeanumnion - Mouse on Mars with musikFabrik (excerpt 3)
Their latest project Paeanumnion is as unique as the rest of their career – a one-off orchestral collaboration which doesn’t play by any of the rules. As Jan Werner says, “it’s a way for us to carry on being an electronic band, only without electronics”.
As ever, he’s not being entirely serious. Both Jan and Andi are on stage throughout this hour-long voyage, playing their own digitally-crafted sounds and processing the orchestra at the same time. But the orchestra themselves – musikFabrik of Cologne, famed disciples of Stockhausen and fearless interpreters of any number of daunting contemporary classical compositions – transform themselves and their instruments into an extension of the Mouse On Mars aesthetic by playing in deeply unconventional ways.
Don't miss Jan St. Werner from Mouse on Mars and more music from the Cologne premiere on our monthly podcast
Barbican podcast (Josh T Pearson, Mouse on Mars, Iain Sinclair, The Leisure Society)
The result – first heard at the world premiere in Cologne in September 2011 - is exhilarating. Conductor and vital collaborator André De Ridder takes on the role of a drummer, summoning the pulse that propels the music forward, while the musicians offer an anarchic palette of abstract sound. This is not a pointless “live remix”, nor is it a straightforward showcase for the orchestra’s considerable musicianship. Instead, it’s a truly immersive experience, a wonderfully coherent body of music which falls into three very different movements, moving confidently from the kaleidoscopic fanfare of the opening section, through a heavily rhythmic central passage to a wistful, hushed meditation of the end.
Paeanumnion is an unrepeatable event - 60 minutes of absorbing, exciting and innovative music which promises to be one of the stand-out live experiences of the year.
'A charming combination of superb musicians.'
De:Bug on Paeanumnion's world premiere in Cologne
'An extremely exciting musical interaction that more than met all expectations and well deserved the frenetic jubilation of the audience.' Koelnische Rundschau on Paeanumnion's world premiere in Cologne
Oval - PlayPortrait 02
The evening will also include a rare chance to hear Stockhausen’s pioneering tape composition Gesang der Jünglinge (1956) – a great influence on generations of electronic music makers – and a live appearance by another true innovator, Markus Popp aka Oval.
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Produced by the Barbican
Paeanumnion was commissioned by KölnMusik and made possible by Kuratorium KölnMusik and Kunststiftung NRW