To kick off their “Transmissions” series at the Reethaus, Soundwalk Collective performs their score to Laura Poitras’ Oscar-nominated documentary film “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” a biographical documentary about the internationally renowned photographer, artist and activist Nan Goldin, for the first time in a live environment.
The performance takes place in the inner room of the Reethaus, an intimate space where audience and artist are in close communion. Light food and drinks will be served over the course of the evening and the performance will be followed by a panel discussion with Nan Goldin herself.
Composed in collaboration with Zacharias Falkenberg and Johannes Malfatti, Soundwalk Collective’s composition draws connections with the life and work of German poet Friedrich Hölderlin, who was removed from society through confinement in institutions. In his last poems, written as fragments while he was plagued by mental illness, Hölderlin renders nature, in all its fragility and ephemerality. Similar themes merge in Laura’s portrait of Goldin, whose life was profoundly marked by her sister’s depression and suicide, and serve as an inspiration for the composition of the choral songs and cantus within the soundtrack.
Through the repetition of words and layering of voices, the lyric scansion operates like a language possessed, echoing various styles from sacred music to modern minimalist techniques. Following this same pattern, the scored music produces a trance that oscillates between grace and madness. The music is characterized by quivering voices and swells, de-tuning and lingering, shifting around the surreal and interwoven with excerpts of Goldin’s direct narration. As in light going through a prism: music may have a slightly different meaning for each listener, thus creating a spectrum of musical experience, similar to a rainbow of light.
Vocals will be performed live by members of the Berlin choir A Song for You, some of whom sang on the original score.