May 18, 2011 - Pinakothek der Moderne - Olaf Nicolai’s Escalier du Chant
May 18, 2011

Olaf Nicolai’s Escalier du Chant

Olaf Nicolai
Escalier du Chant

12 performances with songs by Tony Conrad, Georg Friedrich Haas,
Georg Katzer, Liza Lim, Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Enno Poppe, Rolf Riehm,
James Saunders, Rebecca Saunders, Elliott Sharp, Mika Vainio, Jennifer Walshe

Pinakothek der Moderne
Barer Straße 40
80333 München
www.pinakothek.de

Sunday, May 29, 12–6 pm:
Next Performance with songs by Samir Odeh-Tamimi, Rolf Riehm and James Saunders

Talks and Lectures #2: Friedrich Kittler and Anthony Moore
13.00 Ernst von Siemens-Auditorium:
Preparing the Arrival of the Gods, Lecture by Friedrich Kittler (visuals/sound by Paul Feigelfeld)

16.00 Main stairs:
Talk with Friedrich Kittler and Anthony Moore (presenter: Dirk Setton)

Performances – All dates for Escalier du Chant:
29.05. | 26.06. | 31.07. | 28.08. | 25.09. | 30.10. | 27.11. | 18.12.

Singers: Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart

Since 1997, Olaf Nicolai has developed a wide variety of interdisciplinary projects through his examination of body, time and space. His most recent work, “Escalier du Chant,” is a sound installation made especially for the sweeping staircase in the Pinakothek der Moderne. At its centre is the human voice—with both its sensual power of expression and its political dimension.

Olaf Nicolai has invited twelve international composers to write songs about topical political events throughout the current year – events that at the present time are just as unforeseeable as the compositions themselves. Premieres of these songs will be performed a capella on the staircase in the Pinakothek der Moderne on twelve Sundays. There are no specific times for the performances as the songs will be repeated at varying intervals several times throughout the day. They will be sung by the Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart.

Olaf Nicolai’s work will transform the staircase in the Pinakothek der Moderne into a stage on which visitors find that they are the actors. “My work has to do with the meaning of sound—as does the title of the work: when saying the French title ‘Escalier du Chant’ out loud, there is an allusion to Marcel Duchamp. His work ‘Nude Descending a Staircase’ painted 100 years ago, radically extended the traditional concept of the static picture into the visual experience of motion. Duchamp′s painting renders time visible. My work also combines a staircase with a temporal experience.”

Programme for Sunday, May 29, 12–6 pm:
Samir Odeh-Tamimi’s piece “Spiegel der Erde” (“Mirror of Earth”) is a reference to the poem of the same name by the Syrian poet Adonis and relates to the news of the shelling of the city of Danaa by the army in early May.

Rolf Riehm’s contribution “Heulende Wölfe” (“Howling Wolves”) deals with the coverage in the media of the nuclear catastrophe in Fukushima. Another topic is the mass of gold that, according to the “Financial Times,” the Libyan dictator Muammar al-Gaddafi is supposed to possess.

The self-organised protests against the new British government’s education spending cuts form the structural principle behind James Saunders’ composition.

Talks and Lectures #2: Friedrich Kittler and Anthony Moore
1 pm / Ernst von Siemens-Auditorium:
Preparing the Arrival of the Gods, Lecture by Friedrich Kittler (visuals/sound by Paul Feigelfeld)

4 pm / Main stairs:
Talk with Friedrich Kittler and Anthony Moore (presenter: Dirk Setton)

The supporting programme “Talks and Lectures” invites composers as well as a number of major thinkers in the fields of sound studies, cultural science and media theory to explore and reflect upon the central themes of the project.

The second session, on Sunday May 29, presents “Preparing the Arrival of the Gods” with Friedrich Kittler, one of today’s foremost media theorists. His keynote lecture refers to his most recent work on music and the historical development of notation systems from Ancient Greece to today, covering a spectrum from the love songs of the Greek poet Sappho up to “Electric Ladyland”, the legendary and last album produced by Jimi Hendrix.

The origins of western culture in music and the politics of voice will be themes of the subsequent talk between Friedrich Kittler and Anthony Moore. The British experimental music composer, performer and songwriter (for Pink Floyd among others) is Professor at the Academy of Arts and the Media, Cologne, working on the theory and history of sound.

Curator: Bernhart Schwenk

Tine Nehler
Head of the Press Department
Phone: + 49 89 23805-1321 | Fax: + 49 89 23805-125
E-mail: press-office@pinakothek.de
Visit the Press Dept. on the Internet: www.pinakothek.de/presse/index.php
www.pinakothek.de

www.escalierduchant.org

Olaf Nicolai's Escalier du Chant
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