The ECM exhibition in Seoul has come to an end, my equipment is back in Munich. I immediately became nostalgic. So I’ve put the streaming server for “Small Places” back into operation and will let it run for the next weeks and months even without the exhibition, playing the whole catalogue of ECM Music from beginning to end. At https://smallplaces.art/ you can be surprised again and again by the immense stylistic range of the wonderful ECM artists. I myself have made wonderful new discoveries during the last months and I am looking forward to discovering much more.
Justified criticism of the regents mixes with dangerous trivialisation of the danger, fear of existence can no longer be separated from fear of the virus, highly interesting ethical questions come to a radical head and are buried under a wave of well-intentioned opinions and badly researched assertions.
Out of this serious confusion – once again – a good book has helped me. I took the crisis as an opportunity to re-read one of the books that is most important to me, “The Modern Death” by Carl-Henning Wijkmark, under the light of the Corona pandemia.
The fiction is radically real: at the end of the 1970s, the Swedish government (project group: DELLEM) invites people to a secret symposium on the subject of “The last stage of man’s life”. The real issue is how to get rid of the overaged society that we can no longer afford or want to afford. The question of how to kill the unproductive elderly and other superfluous people in the most humane way possible is discussed in a very practical way.
In Carl-Henning Wijkmark’s experimental literary work, a medical ethicist, a writer and intellectual historian and – almost ironically short – a theologian have their say alongside the inviting ministerial director Bert Persson. With the exception of the writer, all the experts agree that the main thing that is needed is to convince the population of the harmful effects of selfishly clinging to one’s own life, and how much it threatens the country’s economic future.
First published in 1978, the book was only translated into German in 2001, both times without any great response. Wijkmark was obviously several decades ahead of the times, and what he had to say is still unpleasant today.
Reading it has brought me peace with the restriction of freedom. Read in my personally colored book review why: To Live
When I started to deal with the topic of smartphones/headphones/walking, I had no idea what significance such works could have for the current cultureless time. Somewhat uncanny.
“Vergehen” is an opera that you can walk through on your own:
Even the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra can be enjoyed without worries:
Last year I received an honorable mention for the Sound Walk Sunday 2019 with my experience “Inside MPhil – St. Nikolai“, which I created in collaboration with the Munich Philharmonic Orchestra. At the invitation of the organizers I wrote a blog article about the development of the app, which has now been published on their website “walk – listen – create”: https://walklistencreate.org/2020/02/19/touched-by-sound-in-munich/
Today, the Munich Philharmonic gave me the opportunity to continue my research on the reproduction of the sound experience inside the orchestra. They allowed me to sit right in their midst during the rehearsal. Great fun: besides Gustav Holst’s “The Planets”, John Williams “Star Wars” was on the programme. It was conducted by Krzysztof Urbański.
My conclusion: There is not a single recording in the whole history that does justice to the actual physical experience in the orchestra. It is impressive, exciting, hysterical and overwhelming.
As a test, I have made recordings with the Sennheiser Ambeo Smart Headset, which combines standard earphones with two microphones positioned at the ears, thus enabling binaural recordings. Listen to the video with headphones! Otherwise, the effect will not work.
To my surprise, this video is able to convey something of the aforementioned overwhelming effect, which is certainly also due to the sometimes overdriven microphones. These nice but unprofessional microphones just can’t handle the sound pressure. Besides that charming flaw, you can clearly hear the spatial events around you.
In this adventure report I outline how I managed to get an audience for an independent experimental music-theatre piece and enjoyed applying creative entrepreneurial strategies to a publicly funded art project. I hope this report to be inspiring and motivating to fellow theatre makers
At night you have peace and quiet in the theatre: no stage technicians, no carpenters, no lighting setup, no rehearsals.
It’s great when the theatre management allows you to stay alone in the auditorium at night and make your sounds in peace.
On 24.1.2020 is premiere at Staatstheater Kassel, “Mephisto” after Klaus Mann in the version and staging by Thomas Jonigk.
I am very happy that this impressive German documentary film by Martin Farkas with my music is now being shown in the ARD after a successful and long lasting run in the cinemas. Wednesday, 08.01.20, 22:45 hours is the time. Hopefully to be found afterwards in the media library.
More info here >>>
Rehearsals at the Staatstheater Kassel for “Mephisto”, a world premiere by Thomas Jonigk after Klaus Mann with music by Mathis Nitschke. Premiere 24.1.2020.
The AYSE X State Theatre sees itself as an alternative to existing theatre structures, norms, systems and as an introduction to the theatre of the future.
AYSE X State Theatre is a theatre in which inclusion, equal rights and diversity are of paramount importance on both an institutional and creative level.
Members of the independent scene as well as institutionally connected, established and also new members of the German-speaking theatre scene are involved in the implementation of this project, e.g. Julia Wissert (designated artistic director Schauspiel Dortmund), Necati Öziri (author and director of the International Forum of the Berliner Festspiele), Sivan Ben Yishai (house author Nationaltheater Mannheim), Thelma Buabeng (actress Schauspielhaus Zürich), Rania Mleihi (dramaturg Theater an der Ruhr), Mehmet and Kazim (visual artists), Guy Dermosessian (director of Diversity Schauspielhaus Düsseldorf), Nazareth Hassan (Stückemarkt 2019 Berliner Theatertreffen) and others.
The AYSE X State Theatre is coordinated by Emre Akal (director and author) and Antigone Akgün (dramaturg).
From 21 to 24 November 2019, the AYSE X Staatstheater will manifest itself in the premises of the Munich HochX Theater with the world premiere of Emre Akal’s play “Only you know if we made it or not!”, for which I contributed the music.