Performing Sonic Biographies

Damian Rebgetz
Performing Sonic Biographies

Block seminar, English, 2 SWS, 2 ECTS
Saturday/Sunday, 10./11.2. & 17./18.2.2024, each 10-17 h, Hardenbergstr. 33, room 004

INFOSESSION: Thu, 19.10.2023, 16 h,

Registration on Moodle starts 16.10.2023 / Anmeldung auf Moodle beginnt am 16.10.2023:
Moodle Enrollment Key / Einschreibeschlüssel: sonic

Memory provides sound representation, turning vibrations encountered by our bodies into meaning. To listen without memory, in a state of complete amnesia, is a terrifying and exhilarating proposition. Embodied listening implies subjectivity, immersion, positionality, for a sound cannot exist without a time, a place, a listener. We listen to vibrational matter according to what we have already heard but no two ears ever hear the same thing even if they are on the same head. Sometimes we cannot forget sounds (i.e. earworms) and sometimes those who have forgotten almost everything else about themselves retain the ability to read music and play instruments.

In this workshop we explore some of these connections via dramaturgies of listening, concentrating on biographical performance. In group listening sessions participants attempt to practice listening without memory, to discuss sound without referring to representation. They also undertake collective improvisations in narrating real and fictional soundscapes. Participants then focus on specific ‘nonmusical’ sounds of their past. Through sharing these memories they build choreographies or reenactments of such listening practices incorporating the sounding objects themselves. They create self portraits of themselves as listeners. These take the form of lecture performances in which remembering and forgetting sound is performed and analyzed. What are the sounds that one has been (or chosen to be) surrounded by? Which sounds do we remember and which do we choose to forget? How do we narrate (and edit) a sonic autobiography? How can such storytelling subvert essentialist or universalist notions of sound and music.

Requirements for the ungraded Studium Generale credit points: Active participation in listening sessions, discussions and creation of lecture performances including reenactments of listening memories.

Damian Rebgetz wasborn in 1978 on Larrakia land (Darwin, Australia). He completed a BMus (Qld Con.); BA Music Theatre (WAAPA); MA Sound Studies (UdK Berlin) and was an Elsa-Neumann-Stipendiat. His own music theatre performances include “Something for the Fans” (Impulse Festival / HAU Berlin); “Angel of the Morning” (Heiner Müller Festival HAU Berlin); “The Beginning of the End” (Münchner Kammerspiele MK); “WUSS” (MK); “Nirvanas Last” (MK); “We had a lot of bells” (Wiener Festwochen / Schauspielhaus Wien). As an actor he worked for 5 years in the Münchner Kammerspiele ensemble under Matthias Lilienthal and has worked with directors, choreographers and artists such as Sam Auinger, Keren Cytter, Alexander Giesche, Gob Squad, Trajal Harrell, Ruedi Häusermann, Samara Hersch, Ligia Lewis, Toshiki Okada, Susanne Kennedy, Anna Sophie Mahler, David Marton, Ersan Montag, René Pollesch, Philippe Quesne, Rimini Protokoll,Yael Ronen, Christopher Rüping, She She Pop, Nicolas Stemann and Jeremy Wade. He was nominated for “Nachwuchs Regie” and twice for “Schauspieler des Jahres” in Theater Heute. He performed in the Berliner Theatertreffen invited productions “Mittelreich”, “Trommeln in der Nacht”, “The Vacuum Cleaner” and “Das Neue Leben”.