With MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues, the Berliner Festspiele are reflecting on the “Time Wars” of our present time and invite guests to experience contemporary music in unusual formats. The 10 days featuring approximately 30 events – concerts, performances, installations, an exhibition and a discourse programme – with 5 premieres, long-term formats and portraits by Julius Eastman, Terre Thaemlitz and Ashley Fure enable encounters in listening and conversation.
Temporalities are at war. Less tangible than today’s material and immaterial conflicts, but no less real. The systemic temporal violence unleashed by turbocapitalism; the proliferation of non-human, digital time; the slow violence of environmental degradation; the relentless speeds of media attention; the dispossessed temporalities of migration. MaerzMusik, the Berliner Festspiele’s festival for time issues, lends visibility to these “Time Wars” in this year’s edition with projects specially designed on this topic. The discourse format Thinking Together and the 30-hour long-term experience The Long Now at Kraftwerk Berlin set the framework for MaerzMusik as an event to be experienced.
The focus on the multifaceted legacy of African American Minimal musician Julius Eastman, which commenced in the last edition, will be continued this year in the festival’s opening concert and in a multi-piece project at SAVVY Contemporary. A further focal point lies in the work of Japan-based, American-born transgender artist Terre Thaemlitz aka DJ Sprinkles, who produces moving music with her political philosophical approach. Four projects, among them two premieres exclusively produced for MaerzMusik, showcase the broad range of her artistic work. A further spotlight is cast on the composer Ashley Fure, who presents current works for the first time in Germany on two evenings.
In “Zeitgeist”, her compositions relate to works by composers Iannis Xenakis and Brian Ferneyhough, each of which takes a stand on political and temporal aspects of our present. The premiere of “Migrants” by Greek composer Georges Aperghis, who lives in Paris, raises questions about the temporality of migration, which will be continued in the scenic concert “Salims Salon” by Hannes Seidl and other projects. “Chauka, please tell us the time” by Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani and Iranian-Dutch director Arash Kamali Sarvestani offers insights into the temporal and living conditions in a refugee camp on Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. “November 22 1963” is a TV installation by forgotten American video artist Oswald Store (1945-73), who turns the reporting around John F. Kennedy’s murder on 22 November 1963 into a collective real-time reminder.
Music education activities that fall under the auspices of the festival include the “Schule machen: QuerKlang” and “Music Fund” projects.
MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues 2018