The composer Jörg Mainka in the age of technical reproducibility
Artists today are confronted with the “power of the media”, namely with the omnipresence of images and music, with the indistinguishability of original and technically ever more perfected copy, as well as with the medial formation of opinion, processing and channeling of information. Although the technical production, distribution and reproduction of music is a phenomenon that encompasses all areas of musical life, only relatively few composers have dealt with it so far, as if there were a shyness to make this fall from grace, which has long since been accepted as a matter of course, a subject in its own right.
One composer who has taken up this challenge is Jörg Mainka. Two basic constants of his small œuvre – in the first twenty years of his creative work he created just twenty works – are the structural use of reproduction technologies and the inclusion of the most diverse musical styles from classical and romantic to jazz, rock, pop and film music. Mainka’s pieces invoke and explode the norms of conventional instrumental and vocal genres. In doing so, he is guided by two insights. One: “Exercise of power on the individual appears today as armed violence, economic violence and media violence. Media violence has become very important in our society as a means of oppression. However, the media’s means of design are often also the means of art. This takes art and art theory to task, may justify isolation, and raises the question of the future.”