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Commission to Ehsan Khatibi

ensemble unitedberlin (DE)

We observe wars and revolutions all over the world and thus various forms of resistance, against oppression of whatever kind. But it is also about resistance against gross simplifications and distortions in the assessment of the world by certain political groups, which threaten freedom and diversity of democracy. There are devastating examples of the resulting consequences after two world wars in the history of the 20th century, not only the German one. The events of our days move the ensemble unitedberlin to pursue the theme of resistance and war with a four-part concert series.

For this concert series the Iranian composer Ehsan Khatibi creates the work In der Tiefe der Bühne, the voices and texts are written by Fariba Vafi and Arman Khatibi. The commission to Ehsan Khatibi for the ensemble unitedberlin is made possible by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

Since 2018, unitedberlin has been increasingly involved with contemporary Iranian music, the results so far being a concert at the Konzerthaus, a festival at WABE Berlin and a guest performance to the Tehran Contemporary Music Days in Tehran (November 2019). Still the connection with Iranian composers continues, whether they continue to be scattered around the world or in Iran. In this work In der Tiefe der Bühne, the two authors recite in Persian their texts on the current situation in Iran, assisted by a German narrator, all interwoven with the composition by Ehsan Khatibi. The instrumental ensemble is complemented by notated and improvised music by an oud player from Tehran. Both authors were born in Iran in 1963, Fariba Vafi in the Azerbaijani part of the country, Arman Khatibi in Tehran. The different times of their emigration condition two perspectives on Iran in their texts: Arman Khatibi left his country immediately after the Iranian revolution in 1979, Fariba Vafi stayed in Berlin after a DAAD scholarship two years ago.

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June 11, 2025
Konzerthaus, Berlin