In 2017, as EW-4, the ARTE Quartett –founded twenty years ago – plunged for the first time into the world of electronic music. At that time the four musicians exchanged their saxophones for electronic wind instruments and transferred their chamber music interaction to a new, purely electronic level. Electronic wind instruments convert the stream of air and the players' fingering into electronic signals, which create the actual tones by means of sound synthesis or sampling. In the second year of their three-year project «Lu ft str om», which addresses the development of digitalization, the ensemble has staged four new compositions, among them compositions by Ulrike Mayer-Spohn and Emilio Guim.
Ulrike Mayer-Spohn (born in 1980) has played the recorder in the field of contemporary music and the violin with specialized ensembles of early music. Since 2007 she has been writing her own compositions. These include commissions for international festivals and ensembles. Her three-movement work "fEWI" starts with a Basel carnival march, moves on to a prelude for piano and harpsichord and ends up with an opera-like movement with exaggerated arias and rattling harpsichords.
The works of the guitarist, sound designer, and composer Emilio Guim (born in 1981 in Ecuador) debuted, among others, at the Taktlos Festival Zürich and the KlangBasel Festival, and his compositions have been awarded many prizes. In his multimedia composition "Legend", pre-produced videos are generated and piloted by electronic wind instruments. The four musicians play additional sounds live as well.
The Foundation Board supports EW-4 with a project grant of CHF 5,000.