Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


inside ciacona – A Three-dimensional Listening Experience

17.03.2010, Berlin | Completed in the early 18th century, Johann Sebastian Bach’s “Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin” is a rather unusual composition for his time, forgoing as it does any other accompanying instrument. Using the violin simultaneously as a melodic, accompanying, and bass instrument, these complex, polyphonic compositions, which push the performing musician to the limits of his/her ability, are one of the milestones in the history of music and an essential part of the violin repertoire. RADIALSYSTEM V

One of the most famous movements of the Partitas for Solo Violin, the Chaconne of the D minor Partita (BWV 1004), is at the center of the sound installation titled “inside ciacona.” A recording of the work by violinist Midori Seiler is manipulated by means of a special five-channel recording technique and state-of-the-art computer programs, making high, medium and low sounds separately playable and audible. During the performances on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, the audience can experience how the violin’s musical range is reassembled in space: In the hall of the Radialsystem V, the listeners can sit down in the middle of a grid and physically experience the tonal dimensions of the Chaconne in D minor from loudspeakers installed above, below and beside them (analogous to the Dolby Surround System 5.1 in movie theaters). The ears of the listener are at about the same height as the reference pitch a1. All higher sounds come from “above” the listener, all lower sounds from “below” the listener.

By sponsoring the “inside ciacona” project, the Ernst Schering Foundation supports an experiment whose approach spans both disciplines and historical periods in a number of ways. A new kind of performance, the sound installation makes “early music” accessible to the public; the confrontation with state-of-the art technology provides a unique and innovative sound experience. The musical architecture of a piece can be experienced spatially; the recipient is literally inside the music – inside ciacona.

April 3 and 4, 2010, 7 to 11 p.m.

Radialsystem V
Holzmarktstr. 33
10243 Berlin

Idea and Concept: Folkert Uhde
Baroque Violin: Midori Seiler
Production Manager and Montage: Christoph Claassen
Technical Services: Radialsystem V

Further information is available at:

Photo: Sebastian Bolesch


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