Roundhouse Reverb

Jüdisches Museum Berlin, Germany

A performance of the Kafka fragments op. 24 by György Kurtág is planned for April 10, 2013 at the Jewish Museum of Berlin. The concert will be held with the support of the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation as part of the ROUNDHOUSE REVERB festival: conceived as a three-part project it will create different approaches to the Kafka fragments. This will include the performance of the fragments with video projections, a filmic installation to be presented as a special exhibition at the Jewish Museum of Berlin from March 21 – April 26, 2013 as well as a website serving as a documentation platform.
The concert with video seeks a new approach to the highly complex and at the same time subtle work dating from 1985–87, which is either performed as a concert or more frequently as a scenic piece. The ambivalence of the two performance modes anchored in the score is reflected in the form of presentation selected here – one that highlights this by extending and supplementing musical interpretation by Caroline Melzer (soprano) and Nurit Stark (violin) with the addition of a filmic level. The proposed form of a live performance with video projections is aimed at keeping the musical space open for the performers – a space that often cramps scenic presentation – while at the same time opening up a new visual space that allows the score and the Kafka text to emerge: in various figures and quotes, in textual and musical references. The scenic gesture of individual fragments is emphasized, perpetuated or made more acute on the filmic level: the images show the two performers on a journey into an imaginary place in the east. Filmed in Russia and Poland they contain traces and references to the period of genesis of the Kurtág composition and to Kafka’s text – references that illuminate the fragments without illustrating them.

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