In the last few years open systems has developed into a successful festival for contemporary avant-garde music. It was in 1997 that open systems first started to break open the borderlands of improvisation, new composition, electronic music, dance, performance and installation. Since then the festival has offered its very own platform for new ideas and co-operation. The City of Herne has supported and sponsored the project from the very start thus demonstrating its recognition of this positive development. It has supported the initiators in their hard work and their ambition to present new art forms. This project is jointly sponsored by the Cities of Bochum, Essen, Dortmund and Herne and the hopes that this project would also become established in the art and cultural scene far beyond the borders of these cities have been fulfilled. Herne is the smallest of the towns involved in this project but plays an equal role. The Flottmann Halls are well-known in this region for hosting a huge variety of high-quality cultural events and provide ideal conditions not only for the contributions at this festival. This year they also host the closing presentation of the school project “City, Country, River - New Sounds from the Emscher Region” - organised as part of open systems 2005.

The open systems stand for contemporary music in its many facets. The Tage Alter Musik (Days of Early Music) in Herne, which this year are being organised for the 30th time in co-operation with the Westdeutscher Rundfunk, open up a different, but equally varied, world of sounds. The wide variety of music in our city ranges from open systems to the Tage alter Musik. We can be proud of this sound spectrum. And in the future too, courageous cultural decisions – which without doubt applies to the sponsoring of open systems – may be expected from Herne.

I wish this year’s festival much applause from the audience and the media and the recognition it deserves in the region and I am confident that people will continue to display a readiness to welcome new forms of art.


Peter Bornfelder
City manager of Herne

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