Moon Message

an installation music theatre for five musicians, found mixed media, many loudspeakers and other devices
Alte TU Mensa, Hardenbergstr. 35, Berlin, 26. und 27. 9. 2008

with Karoline Göhler, flute, Luise Krüger, violin, Tom Lane, viola, Sergi Roca, violin, Ulrike Ruf, violoncello

Moon Message features aural and visual ’found footage’ from the 1960’s to the 1990’s. More than twenty loudspeakers in different forms and sizes are installed in the performance space together with other audio and visual devices (cassette players, radio, tape machine, television, slide projector etc.) that are predominantly several decades old.

The material – sounds and images from cassettes, tapes, photos, films, videos, slides – comes from personal archives and from flea markets and internet archives. These sounds and images are combined with instrumental sounds, the musicians also handle the audio and visual devices, and perform other actions like sorting geometrical, wooden objects used for teaching basic mathematics in German primary schools in the 70’s. Two interactive audiovisual installations are integrated in the performance situation. The audience is invited to move freely in the performance space.

The material used for Moon Message is old, but not historic, because it can still be actively remembered, and in this sense Moon Message conveys a certain nostalgia.

The sound material originates from cassettes belonging to the composer as well as family members and friends and consists of recordings of conversations, narrated stories and anecdotes, recordings of everyday events like school and singing lessons and family scenes, songs/rhymes and children's improvisations, travel recordings, as well as recordings of radio features, mix tapes and sounds from internet archives (for example a private recording of the eruption of Mount Helen in 1980, made from a distance of 200 km). Static noise, interferences and tape noise are interspersed in the composition. Water recordings (rain, fountain, swimming, bath tub, water poured from a glass, ocean surf etc.) function as transitions between the ten different segments of the one-hour composition.

>> Audiomitschnitt, Ausschnitt

Visual materials consist mainly of slides from the family archive of the composer.

The title Moon Message originated in a radio signal the cosmonaut Komaraow sent back to the earth from his spacetrip in 1967, which is used in the piece. It also refers to McLuhans 'the medium is the message'. Coincidentally, the artist found the NASA series of moon and space slides, also featured in the piece, only after she had decided on the title.

The integrated interactive installation nemulb features photos from a private garden which were taken over the course of 30 years, and recordings of bird calls from the 1950’s and 60’s taken from a North American archive.

Box with geometrical wooden objects