Please join us this evening at 5:00 pm for the final EthNoise! of the fall quarter!
“Forgetting, Forgetting, Forgetting: Recording the Wounded Dialectic in Heiner Müller and Heiner Goebbels’s Wolokolamsker Chaussee“
The teaching piece (Lehrstück) and radio play, Wolokolamsker Chaussee (Volokolamsk Highway), was created by the East German playwright, Heiner Müller, in the waning years of the Cold War. Müller had long collaborated with the West German composer, Heiner Goebbels, so it was hardly surprising that they should again work together to transform the radio play into a recording that would be broadcast during the months of transition from the Fall of the Wall to German reunification (1989–90). Recordings of the performances, made at different radio stations in the West and East, were engineered by the ECM recording studio and released as an LP that metaphorically sounded the healing and further collapse of modern German and European identities. It is the ECM recording itself—a passing record of history—that is the subject of a new monograph by Phil Bohlman in the Bloomsbury series dedicated to reflections on single popular-music albums, “33 1/3.” The recording itself raises multiple ontological questions about the nature of a musical and dramatic work that exists only as a recording, sutured together from multiple fragments of text, narratives, and genres of music. Reimagined in traditional epic style, Wolokolamsker Chaussee is a parable of modernity and the violence it brings to history and humankind.
Hannah Judd, a PhD student in ethnomusicology, will serve as the respondent. You can join us on Zoom (password: modern). We look forward to seeing you then!