ENSEMBLE MANN AUS OBST
We are a group of musicians/performers who have been developing music theatre together since 2014 in changing line-ups.
Some ensemble members are connected by years of shared experience in the field of improvised music, especially free jazz, while others have a strict classical training or backgrounds in songwriting or street music. Because of these highly varied musical biographies, each new project requires us to explore how the ensemble can actually work and sound together as a whole in the first place. Beyond genre boundaries, shared concerns are sought out and developed until a characteristic landscape of interrelated sounds and playing methods finally takes shape.
In this ensemble, the players meet and show themselves to one another as musicians and as whole persons. As well as the intensive musical work, there is a joint exploration and performative distillation of one’s own biographical material concerning a particular theme, which is a sometimes painful and embarrassing, but primarily very amusing and liberating undertaking.
… IN THE DEFAMILIARIZING SPACE
This is not about some documentary exhibition of private matters. Rather, the pieces act as playfully defamiliarizing vessels in which highly intimate personal utterances are possible – musically as improvisations, verbally in the biographical texts – but whose results are not at all dependent on whether or not a particular story really took place exactly as described, whether a piece of music was written two hundred years ago and then learned by the group, or only improvised in this very second.
UNCERTAINY, FRAGMENT AND CHANCE
What is important is the creation of a public space in which one not only protects, but also renders audible and visible, shares with one another and values the reality behind perfected résumés and stage heroes: the fragmentary, doubting, shamefaced, kitsch-loving, envious, disoriented, funny, playful, egotistical, mean human being and their spontaneous, unfinished, risk-taking utterance –
Management / Artistic Coordination
The ensemble was founded, in 2013, by Maja von Kriegstein, whose professional journey started with classical piano lessons and church music, continued with secondary studies in music education and philosophy, freelancing years in va- rious musical and theater formations, leading to ever more free forms of Jazz and music theater. In her teaching position at Universität der Künste Berlin (since 2008), she convenes and leads the interdisciplinary improvisation orchestra, and supports the development of various diverse musicians in intensive one-on-one sessions over several years. Her strong interest in the interface of musical and personal development is partly a result of this.
Because the ensemble was founded at the Garage Opera Festival, we have used the term until now to describe the genre of the pieces we develop. The idea of the makers of the Garage Opera Festival at the Kreuzberg Theatre Forum at the time was to combine the concept of a Gesamtkunstwerk, in this case an opera, with the raggedness and team spirit of a garage band. We implemented this principle quite rigorously: everyone did everything. Instrumentalists became models and lyricists, the stage designer became the first violinist, the artistic director a catering service, the percussionist a vocal coach, the actress a marketing star, the bassist a master of ceremonies, and several of our friends rescued us when nothing was working any more…