Live Electro & Poetry Part 4, March 15th, Berlin

Paul Brody’s Electro & Poetry & Trumpet Concert featuring musical translations of poets from previous sessions


Lettrétage Room Veteranenstraße 21, Berlin. (Acud Kultur Haus)

Admission: free/donation…


Part 4 of Paul Brody’s live electronics & poetry concert will feature the voices of poets that Brody recorded in the past year. Each concert explored different ways of combining poetry and music, always with the idea of creating what Brody calls musical translations of poems.

Two of the writers, Uljana Wolf and Christian Hawkey, were already working with poetry via homophonic translation, or when a poem is translated from the sound of the phrases rather than the meaning of the words. Brody’s compositions and improvisations extend homophonic translation in that he draws inspiration from both the sonic element of the poems well as the expression of the poet’s own voice. Note: Come early. Stay late!The previous concerts have been full, and the audience has enjoyed an after-show party with ambient music based on the voices of the poets. Vowels expand into long tonal passages, consonants cut into grooves, and syllables are flushed with tonal colors.


Paul Brody was born in California, USA, and trained as a musician at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Brody works regularly as a sound artist, composer and trumpeter at the Théâtre de Vidy in Lausanne, the Münchner Kammerspiele, the Berliner Schaubühne, the MC93 Paris, the New York Harlem Opera and the Vienna Burgtheater, among others. He works closely with the music producer John Zorn. His album HINTER ALLEN WORTEN, which features artists such as Clueso, Meret Becker and Jelena Kulijic, was on the best list of the German Record Critics’ Award. Paul Brody was nominated for the Europe Broadcasting Festival and the Vienna International Feature Festival for his work as a sound artist. His sound art works have already been heard on WDR, Deutschlandradio, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the MuseumsQuartier Vienna and at Transmediale Berlin. He is currently writing an opera for the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy. He works closely with the theater directors David Marton and Hans-Werner Kroesinger. Transcript

PART 1 (July 7, 8 pm free) Love your Neighborhood

PART 2 (September 8, 8 pm free): Simple Communication

PART 3 (October 6, 8 pm. free) The Fragility of Freedom

PART 4 (December 8, 8 pm free) Inner and Outer Borders

Paul Brody’s sound installation lands somewhere between a recorded concert and a poetry reading, what he calls “musical translations” of poems and short prose pieces. Underpinning the words are compositions based on samples from symphonies and instruments taped live in a studio, creating a series of playfully eclectic mini-musical-poetic adventures.

While one poet might inspire a funky groove created from recordings of twisting tin cans, footsteps, and a drumbeat ripped from an old Deutsche Gramphon LP, another writer’s voice might conjure an electro-symphonic collage. The foundation is the writers reading their works, but Brody at times cuts out consonants, stretches vowels, and creates rhythmic patterns from fricatives to paint a heretofore unexplored musical landscape.

The idea of translating a poem from its sonic qualities isn’t new. Two poets in this installation, Uljana Wolf and Christian Hawley, have worked with homophonic translation—renderings of poems based on their sonic qualities rather than the meaning of the words.

The show features stories dedicated to place, to neighborhood, in the first leg of Brody’s four-part cycle LOVE&DEMOCRACY, notions that are inextricably intertwined. Without a love of place and neighbors, democracy is impossible. And without treating each other fairly—democratically—there can be no real love. As the German jurist and politician Lore Maria Peschel-Gutzei says, “Democracy is the most difficult form of government. One must care enough to struggle and respect and negotiate.” The same could be said for love.

The installation includes works from Uljana Wolf, Christian Hawkey, Gregor Dotzauer, Tom Drury, Angélica Freitas, Gregor Hens, Ivana Sajko, Tom Bresemann, Donna Stonecipher, and Michael Krüger as well as readings from Marina Frenk and Kiki Sauer.

Behind All Words won the 2016 Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (semester)

SPOKEN POEM (Speaker: Clueso)

SPRECHGESANG (speaksinger: Jelena Kuljić)

SONG FORM (Singer: Jelena Kuljić)