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Soundwalk Collective All the Beauty & the Bloodshed Live Score


Soundwalk Collective





Sunday, September 24, 2023


Performance with conversation

Renowned sonic arts duo Soundwalk Collective kicks off their “Transmissions” series with the first-ever live performance of their score to Laura Poitras’s Golden Lion-winning documentary film, “All the Beauty and the Bloodshed,” about internationally acclaimed photographer, artist and activist Nan Goldin. Composed in collaboration with Zacharias Falkenberg and Johannes Malfatti, the trance-like composition echoes various styles from sacred music to modern minimalist techniques, layering choral elements that draw out lyric connections between the beautiful but anguished verse of German poet Friedrich Hölderlin and Goldin’s own life and work.

Soundwalk Collective performs the score live in the intimate inner room of the Reethaus, featuring lead vocals by Mulay, Miriam Adefris on harp, Kornelia Jamborowicz on cello, Youka Snell on viola and choral accompaniment by members of A Song for You Berlin, some of whom sang on the original recording. Light food and drinks will be served over the course of the evening and the performance will be followed by a moderated conversation between Nan Goldin and Soundwalk Collective founder Stephan Crasneanscki about the collaborative process of scoring this highly personal film.

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.



Soundwalk Collective invites key influences and frequent collaborators featured across their extended body of work to participate in a series that samples from the past 60 years of sonic arts. Reflecting a personal view on collaboration as an essential aspect of the creative process, the series presents a broad summary of the sonic landscapes that they have developed over the past two decades. Seminal masterworks and newer pieces blend into a cohesive yet varied ensemble that spans musique concrète, performance art, contemporary and mystical music. All of these genres have in common a meditative dimension, a transitional nature that has been at the core of Soundwalk Collective’s work.

Previous dates of the series:


Soundwalk Collective

Soundwalk Collective is the contemporary sonic arts platform of founder and artist Stephan Crasneanscki and producer Simone Merli. Working with a rotating constellation of artists and musicians, they develop site- and context-specific sound projects through which to examine conceptual, literary or artistic themes.

Evolving along multidisciplinary lines, Soundwalk Collective has cultivated long-term creative collaborations with musician Patti Smith, late director Jean-Luc Goddard, photographer Nan Goldin, choreographer Sasha Waltz and actress and singer Charlotte Gainsbourg, among others. In doing so, their practice engages in the narrative potential of sound across mediums such as art installations, dance, music and film.

Their latest original score for “All The Beauty and the Bloodshed” (dir. Laura Poitras) won the Golden Lion at the 2022 Venice Film Festival. In October 2022, they opened “Evidence,” a new exhibition with Patti Smith at Centre Pompidou in Paris. Soundwalk Collective have performed and exhibited at a diverse range of arts and music institutions, such as Berghain, Centre Pompidou, CTM Festival, documenta, KW Institute of Contemporary Art, Louvre Abu Dhabi, Manifesta, Mobile Art Pavillion by Zaha Hadid and New Museum.


Nan Goldin

Since exhibiting her groundbreaking 1985 photo series, “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency,” Nan Goldin has become one of the most eminent and influential photographers of our times. Her autobiographical documentation of the New York’s late 1970s and early 1980s downtown avant-garde and post-Stonewall gay subculture would become a benchmark for confessional photography.


A Song for You

A Song For You is a vocal ensemble project made up of around 50 vocalists and a revolving band. The project was formed by singer Noah Slee and creative director Dhanesh Jayaselan, with an intent to amplify the talent that lies within Berlin’s neo-soul, R&B and hip-hop scenes and to create a space and platform for under-represented voices to be heard at the forefront of their own artistic medium.