Announcement // ‘The Speaker’ Performance in Elisabethkirche

Article by Katharine Doyle in Berlin // Saturday, Sep. 09, 2017

When repurposed to host music performances, churches are known to provide an invigorating space for the experience, mainly due to the aesthetic of the interiors and the acoustics they provide for sermons and accompanying music. Heightening the audience’s spatial awareness, the impact of the church space can be attributed to more than simply sight or sound elements; it acts as an capsule that contains its attendees within an immersive experience. The upcoming event series, organised by curator and producer Manuela Benetton, will follow this path of using Berlin churches as a setting for music performances. However, more unusually, several of the music events will explore the power of experimental electronic music in harnessing a connection between listeners and performers. In doing so, they will confuse the binary of man and machine as musical producer.

Ellen Fullman // © Robert Szkolnicki

Ellen Fullman // © Robert Szkolnicki

The series will continue with an event that explores the paranoia of our existence, expressed through a trans-disciplinary collaborative performance. The collision of music and identity will reside at the centre of ‘The Speaker,’ a new project realised by Pan DaijingValerio Tricoli and Werner Dafeldecker, where the condition of living in a self-contained shell is probed and deconstructed. Exploring solipsism through sound might seem like a contradictory mission, particularly when it is performed live and manifests in a shared communal experience. The outcome of the collaboration between the three composers will be premiered during Berlin Art Week on September 16th at Elisabethkirche. Sound may be at the forefront of this event, yet the work has been described more specifically by its creators as ‘aural theatre.’ The show will centre on the tension between man and electronic equipment in a collaborative alliance, how at times they seem to merge seamlessly, and at other points sever their ties entirely.

Pan Daijing, 'The Speaker' // © Manuela Benetton

Pan Daijing, ‘The Speaker’ // © Manuela Benetton

The collaborators of the ‘The Speaker’ are known individually for their innovative approach to producing sonic art, and their respective talents will be brought together within this piece. Incorporating a span of electronically produced features, Daijing’s approach to creating sonic work can only be described as unbounded. ‘The Speaker’ will feature Daijing herself delivering vocals that coincide with the loudspeakers to construct a fusion of human and machine-generated sonic output. Recited in Chinese and English, her script will be based on the idea of solipsism as a metaphor for the psychological spiral of her enacted onstage character. The produced sound will in turn be manipulated by Dafeldecker and Tricoli, and the outcome will be melded with human voices, spoken words, bodily sounds, electronics and field recordings. Composed for spoken language, six onstage loudspeakers and live electronics, this opening event is set to be an eruptive venture.

St. Elisabeth Kirche // © Manuela Benetton

St. Elisabeth Kirche // © Manuela Benetton

The concert will be opened by Argentinian acousmatic composer Beatriz Ferreyra, a highly respected pioneer for pushing the possibilities of composing unusual sounds. The event will allow Ferreyra the opportunity to present a selection of her works, and so attendees can expect her to fully utilise this room to experiment. Comparable to a dystopian classical music score updated to hold more relevance to our technology-driven age, her work will enforce a unique experience upon the audience.

The series continues on October 7th in the stately setting of Villa Elisabeth, where for the first time American artist Ellen Fullman will perform her unique self-designed ‘Long String Instrument.’ Fullman will spend 4 days in the villa preparing the piece. She will also be joined by Jörg Hiller (aka Konrad Sprenger, PAN) on a computer-controlled multichannel electric guitar.

Additionally on November 14th, American composer Charlemagne Palestine will perform on the monumental organ of the Sophienkirche, while Stine Janvin will vocally imitate a multi-layered synthesizer sequence of deconstructed rave rhythms.

Performance Info

Pan Daijing, Valerio Tricoli, Werner Dafeldecker: ‘The Speaker’
Opening concert by Beatriz Ferreyra
Performance: Saturday, Sep. 16, 2017; 7:30–10:30PM
Admission: 12 Euros/ 8 Euros (tickets on the door only)
Invalidenstraße 3, 10115 Berlin, click here for map

Ellen Fullman, Jörg Hiller (aka Konrad Sprenger, PAN)
Performance: Saturday, Oct. 07, 2017
Invalidenstraße 3, 10115 Berlin, click here for map

Charlemagne Palestine, Stine Janvin
Opening concert by Beatriz Ferreyra
Performance: Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017
Große Hamburger Straße 29-30, 10115 Berlin, click here for map

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