Mar 22

Death – what’s that?

Radio play by Gesche Piening, with music by Mathis Nitschke

First broadcast on March 30, 2022 at 10:03 p.m. on DLF Kultur

Broadcast on June 10, 2022 at 9:03 p.m. on BR on Bayern 2

Or listen to it here (in German): https://www.hoerspielundfeature.de/hoerspiel-ueber-kinder-tod-und-trauer-tot-was-soll-das-sein-100.html

Helping grieving children is hard. It also leads adults to emotional limits, makes helpless, sometimes speechless. The radio play tells the story of people who were confronted with death at a very early age and quickly learned to remain silent.

Children and young people approach the subject of mourning, death and dying in a much more unbiased way than adults. However, their specific questions, idiosyncratic fantasies and coping strategies often silence those around them. Children quickly learn that it is better not to ask questions about death if they do not want to provoke unpleasant situations. Dealing with people who are grieving is not something we take for granted. Almost reflexively, we push grief into the private sphere, where those affected withdraw until it “doesn’t hurt so much anymore”. This experience shapes the mourners for a lifetime. Who will be with us one day? And how can we stand by people who are grieving?

By Gesche Piening
Directed by the author

with David Bennent, Patrick Güldenberg, Steffi Kühnert, Martin Rentzsch, Linn Reusse, Katharina Marie Schubert and Jörg Schüttauf

Music: Mathis Nitschke
Sound and technology: Thomas Monnerjahn and Eugenie Kleesattel
Assistant director: Susann Schütz
Dramaturgy: Barbara Gerland
Production: Deutschlandfunk Kultur with Bayerischer Rundfunk 2022


Oct 21

“Brother Eichmann” at the Schauspiel Köln

Cordial invitation to the premiere and the performances of the monologue with the overwhelming JÖRG RATJEN as Adolf Eichmann starting on October 23 at Schauspiel Köln!

Info and tickets: https://www.schauspiel.koeln/spielplan/premieren-21-22/bruder-eichmann/



“In 1961, Adolf Eichmann, the planner and organizer of the Holocaust, was sentenced to death by hanging in Jerusalem. In one of the most highly regarded trials of the post-war period, unbearable details about the National Socialist extermination machinery and its perpetrators come to light for the world public, because the defendant talks.

Author and dramaturge Heinar Kipphardt – along with Peter Weiss and Rolf Hochhuth one of the main representatives of documentary theater in the 1960s – distills over 3,500 pages of interrogation and court transcripts into a theatrical text. The play is premiered posthumously in Munich in 1983. “A trial has in common with a play that both begin and end with the perpetrator, and not with the victim,” writes Hanna Arendt in her account EICHMANN IN JERUSALEM. Kipphardt’s play brings this perpetrator, this “brother” (“Bruder Hitler” – Thomas Mann), uncomfortably close.

From the rehearsals (video by me):



Sep 21

am broke without me

a radio play by Gesche Piening, with music by Mathis Nitschke

first broadcast on Friday, 10.09.2021 at 21:05 on BR Hörspielartmix (Bayern 2)

and on Sunday, 29.09.2021 at 22:03 on Deutschlandfunk Kultur

Or already now in the BR radio play podcast:


Being broke, going bankrupt, living heavily in debt, filing for personal insolvency – these are threats we’d rather not think about in detail and certainly don’t want to experience ourselves. But what if it does happen?

In “am broke without me”, the shaken self-esteem of those to whom it does happen, the despair of those who can no longer keep up, and the hope that everything will one day be the way it was.

Text and direction: Gesche Piening

Composition: Mathis Nitschke

With: Stephan Bissmeier, Katja Bürkle, Martin Feifel, Julia Gräfner, Raphaela Möst, Andreas Neumann, Murali Perumal, Nina Steils and Cathrin Störmer

Double bass: Leonhard Schilde
Percussion: Erik Costa

Sound and technology: Michael Krogmann, Adele Kurziel
Assistant director: Pauline Seiberlich

dramaturgy: Katja Huber

Production: BR/ DKultur 2021

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)


Jul 21

The island of the gods

greetings from Neubrandenburg. Together with 9 young musicians from Romania, Lithuania, Egypt, Austria, Luxembourg and Germany, all of them on the threshold between winning competitions and professional careers, I am working on a concert very close to the audience, which we will present on the

Saturday 31.7.2021, 11:30

at the Detect Classic Festival in Neubrandenburg

on the grounds of the airport Trollenhagen. The idea of the music festival is as sympathetic as it is grandiose:

“On a weekend in summer, we land in the middle of the sound of a symphony orchestra, enjoy live music and take off at night in the light and fog of electronic music. We explore classical and ambient, electronic and contemporary, avant-garde, beats, rhythm, room acoustics and blur boundaries between club and concert hall.”


The initiative for our concert project, with which we will be guests at the festival, comes from the European Union of Music Competitions for Youth EMCY. For more than 50 years, EMCY has not only been organizing competitions throughout Europe, but has also been linking their young graduates with each other and providing them with new perspectives on making and performing music in special projects.

For me, this project marks my debut as a concert designer, taking a collaborative approach from the start. In several online calls since April, we have used various techniques from design thinking to jointly develop not only a concert program but also a staging method in which each individual can find their own contribution – and thus themselves.

Airport Trollenhagen

We will use the lounge on the festival grounds, an open tepee equipped with hammocks and couches, to facilitate an atmosphere of relaxed discovery and listening. There is no central stage, but the musicians in variable lineups will appear in ever-changing places inside and outside the audience.

The title for the concert is our main work “Pulau Dewata” by Claude Vivier, in English “The Island of the Gods”. Inspired by Balinese gamelan music, the piece is composed without predetermined orchestration. I resist my impulse to create an arrangement and trust the collective here as well: in the next few days we will develop the orchestration together.

Real-World Music

In addition to Vivier, we play “Reflected” by Manuela Kerer, a piece that reacts directly to the audience in terms of sound and thus actively involves the listeners in the musical events. Every morning before the rehearsal, I use the opportunity to do “Ear Cleaning” with the group, with listening exercises by R. Murray Schafer.

The concert ranges from violin duets by Luciano Berio to Bulgarian Racheniza to musical; always surprising, touching, inspiring.

Touching the soul has future!

One of my most striking memories from my younger years is this sentence from a conversation with a Russian physicist in the evening over one too many beers. As silly as this sentence actually is, it comes to my mind again and again. Especially on days like today, when I hear enthusiastic young musicians playing live(!) and I get goose bumps.

It’s been a long time since I’ve experienced that.

We are all already looking with concern to the coming autumn and thus to a further future in which no souls will be touched. I would therefore like to join the call of the Munich Chamber Orchestra:

“We can all contribute together to ensure that concert operations can take place without restrictions as far as possible. Appeals to politicians alone will not be enough. If as many of us as possible get vaccinated, we increase the likelihood that the pandemic will be manageable – and at the same time the chance of the fulfilling and enriching concerts we all want.”

And my next newsletter will be shorter again, I promise.

Best regards,
Mathis Nitschke

P.S.: See and hear Maxim Tzekov and Arthur Possig here at the first audition for the Racheniza: https://vimeo.com/579183629/c927b831cf


Apr 21

“Lure” selected for the Digital Dozen awards 2021

Very happy to announce that our research project and open studio performance “Lure” was nominated for the Digital Dozen 2021 awards: http://digitaldozen.io/2021-awards/

Lure is an artistic research project related to machine learning in theatre and music. We have explored a variety of machine learning techniques in combination with musical instruments, voice and narration. The artistic research transfers questions on the topics of human–machine interaction and artificial intelligence to the fields of theatre and music.

Read more about it and watch the video here >>>


Apr 21

Client music mixing

I love the occasional client music mixing job, especially after having upgraded my speakers and acoustics just recently.

Neumann KH310 with Subwoofer KH750DSP and measurement mic/software MA1. Wonderful combination of traditional Klein+Hummel speaker design with modern digital technology.


Dec 20

The ninth wave – Ode to nature

Today I made my debut as a noise artist. “The ninth wave – Ode to nature” is a symphony of fabulous sounds, noises, music and film poems about the beauty of nature and the tragedy of the mankind. Adapted Beethovenian music fills the room, noises evoke memories, fantasy inducing images appear on the body of a female sculpture, coming to life, living through nine allegories [creation, finiteness, beauty, forlornness, flight, search, powerlessness, hatred, desolation].


Written and directed by Stefan Winter Composition by Fumio Yasuda after Ludwig van Beethoven Conductor: Aarón Zapico Piano for four Hands: Ferhan & Ferzan Önder Violas: Kelvin Hawthorne & Klaus-Peter Werani Clarinet: Joachim Badenhorst Bass Clarinet: Gareth Davis Sound and Noise: Mathis Nitschke & Stefan Winter Dance, Choreography in the Film Installation: Aki Tsujita Production: Mariko Takahashi for Neue Klangkunst gGmbH


Nov 20

A call from the Crescendo Magazin

The crescendo magazine called me. One likes to pick up the phone. We talked about the Inside MPhil App of the Munich Philharmonic. Info: www.insidemphil.de


Nov 20

Lure – a music-theatrical exploration of AI (open studio, 13.11.2020)

Drawing: Katharina Dobner

In dialogue with a learning machine: an exploration of music, interactive theatre and live performance through Artificial Intelligence


Info here: https://mlure.art/lure-open-studio/


Jul 20

Walkthrough Videos of Vergehen & Inside MPhil

Finally I had the opportunity to create walkthrough videos of the smartphone experiences “Vergehen” and “Inside MPhil – St. Nicolai”. So people who have no possibility to visit the Experiences in Munich can get an impression. I will add subtitles later.

These videos are for archival documentation purposes. The sound was recorded directly (live) from the smartphone.
Unfortunately, the GPS system worked very weak that day, the reactions to position changes were very slow. Also the GPS coordinates were shifted altogether. Normally the woodwind instruments in Inside MPhil are located in the bushes.


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