Throughout her life, German artist Hanne Darboven (1941–2009) produced different compositions with scores stretching across – in much the same way as her installations – large-scale numerical tables on paper. According to Darboven, her “systems are numeric concepts that work according to the laws of progression and/or reduction in the manner of a musical theme with variations”.
The starting point of Opus 17a is a series of music pieces Darboven began in 1984 under the title Wunschkonzert, a kind of calendar where the numbers are replaced by notes. This four-part opus work for cello is also divided into 36 poems comprising 6 pages each, thus creating a 1,008-page score, performed, on numerous occasions, across around 100 minutes of music. In 2007, Robert Black performed the piece for an album released by DIA Art Foundation.
Since 2014, EVOL – Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp – have conceived 13 variations of Darboven’s score, the first of which was performed at the UnSound Festival in New York. On this occasion in the Museo Reina Sofía, EVOL will perform a concert of two of these variations, and will also give a lecture on folds’ capacity to transform reality and conduct a workshop for acoustic bass instruments.
The name EVOL comes from the Catalan word for Sambucus Ebulus, a herbaceous species of elder with a characteristic foetid smell. Under this moniker, Roc Jiménez de Cisneros and Stephen Sharp make what they call 'computer music for hooligans' or 'rave synthesis'.