Playing words – A musical evening featuring the voices of contemporary poets interpreted through composition and live electronics.

Sound installation artist and composer, Paul Brody, creates live compositions in dialogue with the voices of recorded poets.

(c) Paul Brody

The music is created from samples of orchestral sounds, prepared piano, environmental noise, percussion derived from toys and kitchen utensils, and more. The selected poets are Marica Bodrožić, Orsolya Kalász, Uljana Wolf, Tom Bresemann, Dmitri Strozew, Marina Frenk.

While one poet might inspire a funky groove composed from recordings of twisting tin cans, footsteps, and a drumbeat ripped from an old Deutsche Grammophon LP, another writer’s voice might conjure up an electro-symphonic collage. The foundation of the concert is writers reading their works, but Brody also improvises with cuts of consonants, stretching vowels, or creating 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 and neighborhood, in this second 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.

Paul Brody-piano, trumpet, trombone, sampler percussion, sampling
Rachel Susser-flute
Verena Vehling-Viola d’amore Marie
Jan Schade-cello
Jan Roede-bass

More information and audio samples on Paul Brody’s website.

(c) Dirk Hasskarl

Paul Brody was born in the USA, California, and received his training as a musician at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Brody works regularly as a sound artist, composer and trumpeter at the Théâtre de Vidy in Lausanne, the Munich Kammerspiele, the Berlin Schaubühne, the MC93 Paris, the New York Harlem Opera and the Vienna Burgtheater, among others. A close collaboration connects him with the music producer John Zorn. His album „Hinter allen Worten“, which features artists such as Clueso, Meret Becker or Jelena Kulijic, was on the best list of the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik. Paul Brody was nominated for the Europe Broadcasting Festival and the International Feature Festival Vienna for his work as a sound artist. His sound art works have been heard on WDR, Deutschlandradio, the Jewish Museum Berlin, MuseumsQuartier Vienna, and Transmediale Berlin. He is currently writing an opera for the Opéra National de Lorraine in Nancy. A close collaboration connects him with the theater directors David Marton and Hans-Werner Kroesinger.

The sound installation combines texts in German and English.

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