In the “Memories in Music” festival, the Akademie der Künste is presenting forms of commemorative culture in contemporary music. Music and sound store and release memories of experiences, realities, history and culture. They migrate with people and intertwine with other musics. How composers process and re-locate, weight and politicise these strands of memory is the theme of this festival.
The focus is on a dialogue- and researchbased exploration of fault lines, migration movements, colonial memory and indigenous sound knowledge. The programme brings together current works (as world premieres) with pieces from the 1970s / 1980s, on an OUTDOOR trail in May, in two INDOOR concerts in the summer and in DIGITAL form in the long term.
Kirsten Reese and Erkki Veltheim, for example, echo colonial history in their musical research on the expeditions of the Brandenburg naturalist Ludwig Leichhardt in northern Australia. Annesley Black is concerned with the Vuntut Gwitchin in northern Canada and a fiddle culture that has developed there. The festival introduces the two central figures of Brazilian sound art at the interface of European and indigenous aesthetics, Guilherme Vaz and Walter Smetak. Walter Zimmermann’s life’s work will be presented as memory work. In seven compositions, the Voice Affairs concert thematises the voice and the cultural space of Lebanon as a dialogue of Arabic and European music. Carola Bauckholt recalls the song of endangered birds, and Petros Ovsepyan the language lost through migration.
The festival starts with the two-day digital symposium “Curating Diversity in Europe” (6 – 7 May). Audio-visual installations, live performances by musicians and concert interventions from the roof of the Akademie der Künste are being staged in the many niches of a trail in the outdoor space at Hanseatenweg (7 – 9 May). Audio walks will bring radio compositions and plays to the public ear (6 May – 7 August). The ensemble mosaik and the Neue Vocalsolisten will be inviting the public to concerts (6 – 7 August). The programme also extends to live streams and other digital formats. A comprehensive programme book with working materials will be published in parallel.
Memories in Music – Festival of contemporary music at Akademie der Künste, Hanseatenweg, 6 – 9 May and 6 – 7 Aug. 2021
With Matti Aikio, Katarina Barruk, Maja S. K. Ratkje, Panos Aprahamian, Carola Bauckholt, Karin Hellqvist, Dániel Péter Biró, Annesley Black, Tony Buck, Tony Elieh, Ensemble Adapter, ensemble mosaik, Carlos Gutierrez, Orquesta Experimental de Instrumentos Nativos, Jorge Villaseca, Sharon Mercado, Leopold Hurt, Thomas Kessler, Manolis Manousakis, Aya Metwalli, Neue Vocalsolisten, Ensemble Modern, Silvia Ocougne, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Petros Ovsepyan, Kirsten Reese, Youmna Saba, Marco Scarassatti, Annette Schmucki, Ernst Surberg, Walter Smetak, Guilherme Vaz, Erkki Veltheim, Sabine Vogel, Ute Wassermann, Daniel Wilfred, Raed Yassin, Cynthia Zaven, Walter Zimmermann and others.
Picture © Annesley Black
Funded by the Capital Cultural Fund and the Pro Helvetia Swiss cultural foundation