Q & A with Sven Helbig
Posted on June 3, 2020
Last week we shone a spotlight on our collaborative re-interpretation of Mozart’s Gran Partita with electronic music producer Sven Helbig. Sven is one heck of a cool guy who has worked with artists as great and diverse as German pyromaniac metal heads Ramstein to Manchester Camerata faves The Pet Shop Boys. As Sven is a bit of a pal of ours we thought it would be nice to catch up with him for a brief Q&A!
MC: Sven! You’ve worked with such a diverse bunch of people do you have a bit of a hit list for dream collaborators?
SH: It is unusual, that orchestra composers work together. But working with electronic music composers would be intriguing. I could imagine working with Tim Hecker, Ben Frost or Venetian Snares.
Ace choices, big fan of all the above here! What’s the main thing you’ve learnt from collaborating with such a varied bunch of people?
I already experience, that the musicians behind very different genres, are all driven by the same forces. Creative work basically goes back to the same desires, longings and fears. I still don’t know, what makes them bloom so differently. I like to go back with the musicians to the roots of their creative process und look, if we can find these universal energies and go from there.
Another thing we discussed when working together was performing in unusual spaces / manipulating them in unusual ways. We did this with our concert together at Manchester Cathedral. If you could choose any space in the world to present a concert, where would it be?
I like to create special projects for places outside the concert halls. Unconventional venues that have a history and tell a story. I created a project for the 800th anniversary of Dresden, where the orchestra was sitting in the balconies of a communist high riser, one musician per balcony.
At the moment I often have the dream, of having the sea behind the stage. A concert by the ocean would be absolutely wonderful.
Do you have any music recommendations for us during lock down?
I love the new Album “A Western Circular” by Wilma Archer. An amazing genre mix with orchestra instruments.
Do you have any messages for Camerata fans during these challenging times?
Please stay with your favourite ensemble, when the concerts halls open again. The best support will be, to join the new concert season as often, as possible.
Invite your friends to concerts and be an advocate for the arts. Because the danger is, that music will not be considered as important, as other things in this crisis.
You can watch a short video about our Mozart Gran Parita project over on the Manchester Camerata youtube channel!