Sandeep Bhagwati / Siaman Vongayan / Musicians of Ensemble Extrakte
For an indigenous singer recorded on video
and twelve live musicians from perse traditions
Deniza Popova, Bulgarian vocals / Eva Glasmacher, soprano / Naoko Kikuchi, koto / Lucy Zhao, pipa/ Elshan Ghasimi, tar, voice / Wu Wei, sheng, erhu / Ravi Srinivasan, khayal, tabla, percussion etc. / Sören Birke, harmonica, khaen, mouth harp, duduk etc. / Gregor Schulenburg, flutes, kyotaku, duduk / Klaus Janek, bass. / Gebrüder Teichmann, live electronics
For the opening of the Humboldt Forum’s West Wing, composer, poet and music researcher Sandeep Bhagwati has conceived a two-day concert installation in the listening room of the ethnomusicological collection. Musicians from 12 different musical traditions take turns in 5 different positions, interconnected by watching and listening to a common “score”. This five-part, 90-minute “score” is composed of five video clips by Taiwanese documentary filmmaker Ye-Hai Chang. In July 2021, he was commissioned by Bhagwati to film his friend Siaman Vongayan (Chinese name: Kuo Chien-Ping ), an activist and guardian of the music of the indigenous Tao people on the Pacific island of Lan Yu, singing the same traditional song over several days at important locations on his island: a song about the shipwreck of a modern large ship on the rocks of Lan Yu. The different versions of this song, which vary slightly from place to place and day to day, as well as the soundscapes of the respective locations, become the basis for the musical interpretations of the live musicians – who react to the video, to each other, as well as to the presence of the audience with comprovisations: improvisations after concise instructions that orient their listening – and their playing with each other. No one brings ready-made music with them – all musicking arises from what can be seen, heard and felt at the time of performance.