Playing Poets (Part of Love&Democracy)
LiveElectro & Poetry Part 3 ACUD KUNST HAUS LETTRETAGE SPACE Veteranenstrasse 21 5 Boundary Bashing Poets! paulbrody.net Concert featuring the voices of Ellen Hinsey, Katherina Oguntoye, Carolyn Gammon, Mariam Rasheed, Isaac Goodman. —Mostly in English and some German Composer and sound artist Paul Brody will perform his third set of musical compositions inspired by the voices of poets he recorded. The poets in this round will share their sense of belonging and exclusion. Poet, community builder and activist Katherina Oguntoye, for example, tells about growing up Afro-German in Zwickau, while the young queer poet Elli Goodman satirically recounts how they discussed femininity with their doctor. To create a unique soundscape for each voice, Brody asked the poets for the sounds they associate with their selected poem. He put the collected sounds into the sampler he will play as custom made musical instruments. His compositions will not only function as a musical translations of the poems, but also reflect the five unique sound worlds that the poems have been written in. Scientist and artist Mariam Rasheed ponders on the Arabic word for the quality of being foreign, which she translates as foreignness to describe talking with her grandmother about living in Berlin. Historian and activist Carolyn Gammon shares a poem about the significance of music during her mother’s last years with Alzheimer’s disease. Poet and political essayist Ellen Hinsey questions our ability to interpret sanely the world at all. Paul Brody’s sound art and composition can be heard on numberous feature for WDR, the Jewish Museum Berlin, the Humbodt Forum. He was artist in residence at the Munich Kammerspiele, the Toronto Language Museum, and at the Museum’s Quartier, Vienna. His compositions and trumpet playing can also be heard in collaboration with John Zorn, Clueso, David Moss, David Marton. He recently finished an opera commission for Opéra national de Lorraine, a symphonic work for the Oldenburg Symphony. His second opera for 2024 and symphonic work for 2025 will be heard at the Badisches Staatstheater Karlsruhe. The poets describe themselves: Carolyn Gammon Canadian author and activist has lived in Berlin since 1992. She has worked in the fields of anti-racism, Holocaust studies, and for LGBTQ* rights. Her most recent book is about memory loss and living life to the fullest. Isaac Goodman is a queer Jew called Bread in real life. In between the day to day struggle of surviving under late stage capitalism they make art sometimes. I’m willing to accept that that’s a bit pessimistic.’ Mariam Rasheed is an artist and scientist from Egypt and based in Berlin since 2015. In her works she explores the societies and ideologies that shaped and regretted her, her childhood and herself. Ellen Hinsey is the author of nine books of poetry, essays, dialogue and literary translation. Hinsey received the Yale Younger Poets Award, the Berlin Prize fellow of the American Academy in Berlin,and is a is a National Poetry Series Finalist. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Irish Times, Der Tagesspiegel, Poetry, Poetry Review, The Paris Review and others. Katharina Oguntoye ist eine afrodeutsche Historikerin, Künstlerin, Aktivistin und Unternehmerin. Bekanntheit erlangte Katharina Oguntoye als Mitautorin und Mitherausgeberin des Buches ‘Farbe bekennen. Afro- deutsche Frauen auf den Spuren ihrer Geschichte‘, Berlin, 1986. Sie ist Mitbegründerin des Vereins JOLIBA -Interkulturelles Netzwerk in Berlin e.V. (1997), den sie 25 Jahren lang leitete. www.joliba.de. In den letzten Jahren erhielt sie mehrere Preise für ihr Lebenswerk.
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)