MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues: 2019 festival programme published


Press release from 11 January 2019

In the current festival edition, the Berliner Festspiele investigates history and writing history as temporal political phenomena. New works by Jennifer Walshe and Timothy Morton, Olga Neuwirth, Justė Janulytė, George Lewis and Elaine Mitchener will be presented in over 30 concerts, performances, film screenings, exhibitions and discourse events. In addition to the discourse programme “Thinking Together” and “The Long Now” at Kraftwerk Berlin, the festival’s “Tele-Visions” project places a strong emphasis on the media history of the musical avant-garde from the 1950s to the 1990s.

MaerzMusik 2019 opens on 22 March with Frederic Rzewski’s grand-scale variation “The People United Will Never Be Defeated” (1975), which will be performed by the composer himself. In the second part of the evening, this precisely organized piano opus is juxtaposed with the rapturous sound plasma “Clepsydra” (1981/82) by Horațiu Rădulescu, which will be performed in its original form for the first time. A new multimedia project by Jennifer Walshe and Timothy Morton, which was commissioned by the festival, explores the diversity of temporality at the centre of human existence 24.3. Together, New York-based Ensemble Pamplemousse and composer and experimenter George Lewis commemorate artist Terry Adkins with a live interaction in music, image and text (26.3). Vocal artist and performer Elaine Mitchener will explore the question of “remembrance” in her new project “the then + the now = now time” and present this at MaerzMusik as a premiere 25.3. The silent film “Die Stadt ohne Juden” (The City without Jews) by Hans Karl Breslauer in 1924 was horrifyingly visionary in its time and is once again horrifyingly contemporary for our time – the Austrian composer Olga Neuwirth has composed new music to accompany the silent film. Following a successful premiere through Ensemble PHACE in Vienna, this project comes to MaerzMusik 2019 and Berlin 29.3. On the Konzerthausorchester Berlin programme is a further Olga Neuwirth composition – a concert evening that will offer a stage for two further composers in addition to Neuwirth: American-born Ashley Fure with “Bound to the Bow” (2016) and Justė Janulytė from Lithuania with a new piece composed for MaerzMusik 28.3. Like Ashley Fure, Taiwanese artist Liping Ting is also currently a visiting scholar at the daad artists‘ programme and will present her new installation “Water Timing S. – Times’ Spiral” at the daad gallery 24.3. In their “useless land” project, artists Catalina Insignares and Carolina Mendoça invite guests to a nocturnal reading at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele. Texts based on a world before the Industrial Revolution can be heard from midnight through to the morning 24/25.3.

With its Tele-Visions project, MaerzMusik 2019 focuses on the critical reflection of the historical (self) representation of new music in the mass medium of television. A comprehensive archive of television productions on the musical avant-garde of the 1950s to the 1990s, which can be experienced throughout the entire festival at silent green, beckons guests to embark on a media archaeological time journey. A film installation, commented film programmes, lectures and presentations illuminate the historical narrative of the musical avant-garde against a backdrop of contemporary issues concerning diversity, inequality of the sexes, intersectionality and coloniality. Together with SAVVY Contemporary, MaerzMusik also presents the internationally celebrated exhibition “A Utopian Stage. Festival of Arts, Shiraz-Persepolis (1967–1977)”.

These media archaeological projects are anchored in the discourse format Thinking Together, which focuses on history, writing history and historical philosophies as temporal political constructions.

The Long Now once again closes the 2019 MaerzMusik − Festival for Time Issues. On 30 and 31 March, more than 30 hours of music from various sonic worlds can be taken in on the stages of Kraftwerk Berlin, a grand-scale composition of concerts, performances and electronic live acts with sound and video installations.

The QuerKlang project celebrates 15 years of work and collaborations with MaerzMusik and once again premieres compositions by pupils.

MaerzMusik – Festival for Time Issues 2019 takes place from 22 to 31 March and is organized by the Berliner Festspiele at the Haus der Berliner Festspiele and at other locations throughout Berlin. Ever since Berno Odo Polzer – artistic director since 2015 – gave the festival a new orientation, MaerzMusik has been exploring the phenomenon of time in all its political, social, philosophical and artistic dimensions. Relevant issues become visible in concrete artistic and theoretically reflecting formats that distinguish our present day and, at the same time, are inseparably connected to the time medium of music. In doing so, the festival is an interdisciplinary platform that links contemporary music forms, performances, installations, film presentation and exhibitions with the discourse format “Thinking Together”.

Deutschlandfunk Kultur will broadcast the concert LIVE at the Konzerthaus Berlin on 28 March at 8 p.m. Further media partners of the festival include rbb Kulturradio, The Wire, Exberliner and Monopol.

You can find all festival information on our new website under:

Please address interview queries to:
Press contact: Patricia Hofmann +49-30-25489-223

Further information
MaerzMusik on the Berliner Festspiele Blog

Follow us

MaerzMusik on Facebook
Berliner Festspiele on Twitter
Berliner Festspiele on Instagram