Could we face our lives and this (mostly complicated) world in any other way than the usual way? Could there also be happiness in this?
In the event series WUNDERKAMMER music, science and philosophy combine with a somewhat different view of the world, based on selected phenomena from our everyday life. In doing so, the mirrored cabinets of the historical Wunderkammern offer us a productive, sensual echo chamber in which we bring contemporary experiences into relationship and resonance with figures of thought from antiquity and the Renaissance.
The chambers of wonder around 1600 – predecessors of today’s museums – placed their often bizarre exhibits of art, craft, nature and science in a holistic “world context” that we often lack today. Inspired by this, the Neuköllner Oper designs new, own WUNDERKAMMERN, which bring together a curious audience with experts from music, science and art. Music is the most important ally here and a kind of messenger, in its vibrational field we put together finds, stories and experiments from then and now – and try ourselves in wonder, which opens up a highly productive attitude to the world with the “curiosity of the child and that of the scholar” (Alexander von Humboldt).
The WUNDERKAMMER series began with two programs in fall 2019.
Because of its success, a new series of four programs will take place in collaboration with and with the support of the Ernst Schering Foundation.
Conception and moderation
Bernhard Glocksin, Artistic Director of the Neuköllner Oper
Conception, research, set design
Sabrina Rossetto, Architect & Stage Designer
WUNDERKAMMER V: MUSIK IM KOPF
April 2022, Neuköllner Oper
Once again, we ourselves are the “material” of our journey of discovery: We, the audience and the singers* and musicians at excerpts of the music theater LILI – about the life story and music of the highly talented and early deceased Lili Boulanger.
The theater hall now becomes an experiential space that makes brain activities visible with and through music and – that would be a second experiment – transforms measured values back into music and image. For this purpose, selected test subjects from the ensemble and audience wear lightweight headsets that make measured values of their brain waves visible. In this way, knowledge of neuroscience and applied disciplines (Brain Computer Interface, etc.) becomes visible and tangible, and we can set out on the trail of certain questions: How is it with the “goose bump effect” with special music? With whom does it occur and when, and with whom not? How can related feelings like compassion or emotion be measured and explained? And finally, what new experiences and insights do I come to when attending opera and theater?
WUNDERKAMMER VI: LONGING FOR BEAUTY
8 & 9 July 2022 , Oriental Garden/Reception Hall, Gärten der Welt
Summer evening in an extraordinary echo chamber: an Oriental garden. Where else could we encounter the great question of beauty more enclosed and vivid than here? To trace the mysterious power that beauty and music awaken in us? The “hidden” gardens of the Arab and Christian cultures were places where beauty was staged as a sign and path to something beyond. Here, in the interplay of Orient and Occident, we will go on an intercultural voyage of discovery of the form and effectiveness of beauty, looking “back” with the ancient Orientalist Walter Sommerfeld and looking “ahead” to current scientific findings with the neurocognition psychologist Rasha Abdel Rahman (inquired). Baroque harp, Persian art songs and today’s electronics combine to create a musical East-West diwan that crosses cultures and centuries.
And: What would “beauty” be in relationships among people, in society, and to nature and the future? Could it develop a new dynamic and productive force in the social?
In Cooperation with
Invitation to a blind date with the most important partner – our body and mind. Meeting point: Schinkel’s Rotunda in the Altes Museum, where Asklepios, the great physician of antiquity, watches us. With Prof. Dr. Tobias Esch (Uni Witten Herdecke), Dr. Mona Schrempf (among others HU Berlin), Wu Wei (Sheng and other traditional Chinese instruments), Niko Meinhold (harp, glockenspiel and others).
12-14 November 2021, Schinkel-Rotunda at Altes Museum Berlin
WUNDERKAMMER III: Fungi
WHY WE ARE NO INDIVIDUALS
They make us wonder, sing, and see the world differently: Fungi and especially mycelia, their underground network of filamentous stolons, reveal fascinating patterns of intelligence, communication and organization – including that we are not individuals in the classical sense of the word. Inspirations for meeting the challenges of our time? With Prof. Dr. Vera Meyer, microbiologist (TU Berlin), Prof. Dr. Jens Krause (HU Berlin), Markus Syperek (musical direction) and other musicians* with music from Monteverdi to the present
Prinzessinnengarten and Kiezkapelle, 9-11 September 2021.
WUNDERKAMMER II – Imagination and Scent
THE DREAMS OF ALEXANDER VON HUMBOLDT. A journey of sound and smell to Mexico.
Composer Diana Syrse, soprano Ana Schwedhelm and neuroscientist Anna D’Errico (Goethe University & Max Planck Institute Frankfurt) lead an expedition of the inner senses.
Kiezkapelle, 23 & 24 Oktober 2020.
WUNDERKAMMER I – Klang und Weltbild
THE AIR BETWEEN THE STRINGS.
A journey with baroque harpist Luise Enzian to the origins of music history and into the echo chamber of the Renaissance, with insights into the world, the central role of music, small experiments and sound pictures by Lena Wenta.
Neuköllner Oper/Hall, 19 & 20 September 2020.
Photos: © Sabrina Rossetto, Nancy Ludwig, Alexander Savin (WikiCommons)