Philipp Lachenmann: DELPHI Rationale


Turning Towards Leaving

25.04.2013, Berlin | “There was a moment when I said to myself: ‘Okay, it won’t be very long now before I die, and now I will face up to this situation.’ I turned, as it were, in a different direction, towards leaving. This is surprisingly very liberating.” This quotation by the Viennese writer Ilse Helbich forms the starting-point of the music theater TURNING TOWARDS LEAVING. The choir project sees itself as a tale, told with musical means, from the unknown country of aging, based on texts by Ilse Helbich and musical memories of older people.

Choir of the Old

A sixty-strong Choir of the Old will be at the center of the music theater production, which is developed by Union Universal together with the Kaleidoskop soloists’ ensemble, composer Manuela Kerer, and six performers.
The starting point of the scenic composition are musical pieces linked to biographical snapshots from the lives of elderly people: lullabies, dance tunes, children’s songs, folk songs, sounds, radio songs or melodies – because the memories that are stored deepest when people start to forget are those rooted in music. As one’s cognitive abilities fade, the memory of the actual events that have triggered feelings disappears, but the memory of the feeling itself remains stored in the music.

The stories and musical memories that form the material for TURNING TOWARDS LEAVING can be listened to online via the MACHINA RECORDATIO, a memory machine and voice archive. Starting in April 2013, the MACHINA RECORDATIO will also be present as an urban space installation in Hamburg and later in Berlin and Dresden.
In our accelerated society, old people not only risk the loss of their own memories, they also lose their social ties, because they are rarely integrated into extended families or cross-generational ways of living. Frequently living with others like them in nursing care homes, where they receive professional care, they are not encouraged to raise their voice and have nobody to whom they can pass on their experiences. An ever-growing number of older people is thus increasingly falling silent, although it would be very interesting to listen to them. TURNING TOWARDS LEAVING makes the voices of elderly people audible and the older people themselves visible, both as individuals and as members of a social group. They become experts of a musical tale from the foreign country of aging.
The project thus succeeds in broadening disciplinary horizons and provides creative inspiration for society – aims that have been supported by the Ernst Schering Foundation since its inception.

Turning Towards Leaving

TURNING TOWARDS LEAVING will be performed in Hamburg, Berlin, and Dresden with a changing, locally staffed choir of elderly people. Tickets are available via the websites listed below and through the ticket offices of the various venues.

Thu, May 16, 2013 Kampnagel Hamburg, K6 // Premiere
Fri, May 17, 2013 Kampnagel Hamburg, K6
Sat, May 18, 2013 Kampnagel Hamburg, K6
More information at

Fri, June 28, 2013 Radialsystem V, Berlin // Premiere
Sat, June 29, 2013 Radialsystem V, Berlin
Sun, June 30, 2013 Radialsystem V, Berlin
For more information, visit

September 27, 2013 HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden // Premiere
September 28, 2013 HELLERAU – European Center for the Arts Dresden
More information at

For additional information, please contact the Ernst Schering Foundation by phone at +49 (0)30-20 62 29 60 or visit the website


Disappearing Legacies: The World as Forest

18.04.2018, Berlin | Opening on April 26, 2018, at 7 p.m., the exhibtion Verschwindende Vermächtnisse: Die...

Hybrid Encounters. Tomás Saraceno and Guests

With “Hybrid Encounters”, the Hybrid Plattform and the Schering Foundation have created an event series that...

Micro, Macro, Market?

23.03.2018, Berlin | “It’s the economy, stupid!” – this was the slogan of U.S. presidential candidate...