Peter Thoegersen’s new CD on Flea004 is a recording of his Microtonal Song Cycle «Facebook: What’s On Your Mind » (2016-2020). Sung with hair-raising power by Lore Lixenberg, this is one of the most astounding works by Thoegersen whose music I consider to be a most significant and rare example of freedom in contemporary music.
While the microtonal piano part of the song cycle is a potent example of Thoegersen’s poly-temporal and poly-microtonal explorations, the voice part, highly dramatic, is the contemporary equivalent of « Pierrot Lunaire ». Schoenberg’s sprechgesang with its moonstruck poetry has metamorphosed into a raving rant of the Facebook generation where the banality of obscenity finds its limits in expletives no longer deletable unless the culprit is placed in Facebook jail for having transgressed «community standards » whatever those might be…according to inscrutable censors.
Thoegersen’s work exists at an intersection of freedoms: musical and social, where one might at once sound the musical limit of free sound and the social limit of «free speech ». His work is both courageous and dangerous to academia. No easy categories for this music. We are in the no-mans’s land of unlimited freedom far from job security and clear social status.