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Kulturgeschichte der Musik

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Dr. Anna Langenbruch

Institute of Music  (» Postal address)

A05 1 - 134 (» Adress and map )

+49 441 798-2908  (F&P

Research and Theater Workshop "Music in Exile"

Academic year 2018/19, Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, Music Department

Coordinators: Anna Langenbruch (Cultural History of Music), Volker Schindel (Music, Theater and Performance) and Arne Wachtmann (Music and Media)

In cooperation with the German Exile Archive 1933-1945 of the German National Library in Frankfurt am Main.

The fundamental question of this cooperation between arts and humanities was how the history of music, particularly the history of music in exile, can be subject to musical performance: How can archive materials evolve into a musical play? How did musicians approach the new possibilities opening up to them after their escape from Nazi Germany or Austria? What role did music play in their everyday life? How did these musicians interact with the musical life they found in their host countries? How did they experience their escape, exile and gradual arrival? And finally: How is it possible to stage these complex stories musically?
Following principles of research-based learning the students of the participating courses first examined the historical source material and, in a second step, developed theatrical concepts (for example on the basis of documentary theater or other forms of historiographical theater). Thus, they were also able to explore and compare the potential of both musicology and music theater to create and convey knowledge about music history.

The research workshop “Music in Exile” in the winter term 2018/19, supervised by Anna Langenbruch, focused on the work with musico-historical sources: The participants spent three days in the German Exile Archive, worked with the original sources, perused the personal estates of deceased musicians who were exiled, worked through collections of aid agencies, had a look behind the scenes of an archive, developed research questions and most importantly: They collected material for their artistic and academic endeavor. On the basis of this material, the theater workshop “Music in Exile” directed by Volker Schindel, developed a musical play, which premiered in June 2019. In the summer term 2019 the theater workshop was accompanied by two other courses: The seminar “Music, Politics and Contemporary History on Stage”, chaired by Anna Langenbruch providing musicological and dramaturgical advice while Arne Wachtmann’s media technology workshop “Music in Exile” contributed to the audiovisual setting of the play.

Musical Play "Heimat im Koffer"

The musical play “Heimat im Koffer” (roughly translated: “Putting your home in a suitcase”), which resulted from the research and theater workshop “Music in Exile”, has been performed on June 29th and 30th, 2019 in the auditorium of the University of Oldenburg. A report from the university’s press office can be found here.

Playbill (50 MB) Poster
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