Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

Oranienburg train station

S1 line to Oranienburg

Musicmaking at Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp

As we can read here, both music was both a forced activity and free expression within the lives of prisoners at the forced-labor camp we will be visiting today. Consider these two perspectives from the above site.

    "The SS made singing, like everything else they did, a mockery, a torment for the prisoners ... those who sang too softly or too loudly were beaten.  The SS men always found a reason ... when in the evening we had to drag our dead and murdered comrades back into the camp, we had to sing.  Hour after hour we had to, whether in the burning sun, freezing cold, or in snow or rain storms, on the roll call plaza we had to stand and sing of ... the girl with the dark brown eyes, the forest or the wood grouse.  Meanwhile the dead and dying comrades lay next to us on a ripped up wool blanket or on the frozen or soggy ground."

     "None of us had studied music.  We were bound by the same fate and the common love of music and singing … daily we counted hundreds of dead.  We froze and starved - yet evenings we sang and made music … we did not want to be martyrs.  We wanted to survive, and bring fascist Germany to its knees, to somehow play a part in this."

Techno Studies Discussion at UdK

Dr. Matthias Pasdzierny at the Berlin Universität der Künste (University of the Arts) kindly and expertly spoke with us about the historiography and aesthetics of techno music in Berlin. Not only did we gain greater appreciation for how this live music is produced and how the DJ and dancers "co-create" together, we also learned the roles this scene and music play in reunification efforts within Berlin since the early 1990's.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Intermission at Hinterm Horizont musical

Dramatizing the divide of the Berlin Wall in the mid-1980's amidst a love story involving Udo (Western rockstar) and Jessy (East girl from Pankow),  this production is both campy and deeply political, making us wonder how contemporary Berliners consider this troubled history. 

Berlin Mauer (Wall) section in Potsdamer Platz