Material Symphony


The Architecture of Freedom
About composition for Improvising orchestra


The content is genre-spanning,
open to all instruments and voices
and is based on graphic and dramaturgical modules.

Topics of the workshop:
Movements in the orchestra room – Music from language – Fields of materials – Collective traditions – Cosmic Stories.


The workshop as a 5-day series 
Practical elaboration of the topics of the workshop on 5 different days.
Each of the days deals with the practical research and elaboration of a different chapter of the five topics of the workshop. The final concert shows the result of the multifaceted orchestral work.
The workshop as a 1-day block 
Practical elaboration of the five topics of the workshop on 1 days with subsequent final concert.

“My many years of work in the area of contemporary orchestral music, the involvement with the development of modern compositional languages and the cooperation with non-European cultures made possible by the Goethe Institute in numerous concert tours have led the composer Norbert Stein to develop an effective musical sign language for larger ensembles.

The development of my graphic notation has led from the orchestral composition”die fünf Tage” (Pata Orchestra/Moers Jazz Festival) to numerous European encounters (including the encounter with the French musicians collective ARFI “News of Roi Ubu“) and all the way to creative applications in various international collaborations.The work with graphic notation techniques was successfully applied in the projects with musicians in Brazil (“Pata Bahia“) or the cross-border encounter with a gamelan orchestra in Indonesia (Pata Java“).

The multi-part composition Graffiti Suite“, based on graphic notation, was realized with great success by the NDR Bigband and released on CD.

Excerpts of the score of this work were published in the anthology “Notations 21” by American musicologist Theresa Sauer.

In a clearly structured form, the composition MATERIAL SYMPHONY creates fascinating orchestral events that are rich in imagery: sound sculptures, sound worlds, orchestral movements and exciting spaces for improvisers. Due to the special graphic notation, the musical events are clearly defined, but at the same time remain open to tone colorations, interactions and forces of the expressive improvised moment.

With the orchestra project MATERIAL SYMPHONY, contemporary music is created that not only springs from the modern tonal language of New Music, but also expresses the power and spiritual depth of improvised music and jazz to a high degree. Thanks to the underlying highly developed graphic symbols and the clear compositional signs that have already proved their worth in many projects, it is possible to effectively create an artistically high-quality orchestral event within a relatively short space of time.

In the illustrative scenes of the MATERIAL SYMPHONY, exciting musical spaces open up which, beginning from the art of improvisation, demonstrate a fascinating spectrum of the expressive possibilities of contemporary orchestral music.

We are available for further information or questions about the course or registration.
Contact: Norbert Stein / Phone.: +49 (0)221 205 303 91