EriK Satie – Vexations in Berlin



1990 - 2002
Berlin, presumably Schiffbauerdamm
Created By: Harald-Alexander Korp

License: Creative Commons License

With: Alan Bern, Eva-Maria Freyer, Reinhold Friedl, Marie Goyette, Ellen Hünigen, Hans Michael Klein, Harald-Alexander Korp, Alan Marks, Chico Mello, Christian Petresku, Reina Rodenbeck, Johannes Roloff, Reiner Stelzner, Christian Steyer, Jakob Ullmann, Regina Ulrich

Concept, director, editor: Harald-Alexander Korp
Music: Eric Satie "Vexations" from "Pages Mystiques" © Max Eschig 1892-1895
Camera: Reinhold Vorschneider, Hubert Saier
Camera assistents: Susanna Shalonen
Concert recording: Tonstudio Krex, Dieter Ortleb, Gunther Krex
Public relations: Max-Peter Heyne
Continuity: Margitta Wagner
Editing: Thorben Zoeger
Grand piano by Steinway & Sons

The film shows the performance of Erik Satie's famous "Vexations" (Wikipedia-Artikel, as of 18 November 2009) in September 1990 on the border strip along the River Spree. It lasted 25 hours and was played by 16 pianists from all over the world. Some of them talk about Satie's music and its significance in relation to where it was played and this moment in history. Alongside Wall relics and S-Bahn sounds, traces from bygone times emerge - underground bunkers with Third Reich frescoes.

Text in image

wir reden nicht wir tun

Republik / Erik Satie


berlin / september 1990 / grenzstreifen am reichstag

Original Caption

"Documentary film about a piano concert on the border strip behind the Berlin Reichstag building in September 1990. On a piece of wasteland along the former death strip by the River Spree in the city centre, 16 pianists play 25 hours of Erik Satie: vexations. One motif is repeated 840 times – seamless changeover makes for no interruption in play. A black concert grand stands in the middle of this landscape. It's situated not far from the border tower, surrounded by Wall relics, sand and plants. It's open air and the music is accompanied by the sounds of passing S-Bahn trains, boats, an airship, crying children and bicycle bells. Starting during daytime, the concert goes on into a relatively cold night, continues through until daybreak and ends on a sunny Sunday. Traces of bygone times emerge. They include objects found on the surface as well as finds buried in the earth below. Remains of former bunkers. Underground water. Murals by SS soldiers in the Third Reich. The film also depicts the pianists. Each person has his or her own particular way of playing. Some are fast, others slow, alert or meditative. And with each changeover, a black or white marble is thrown into the sand. After 840 marbles in 25 hours, the glass container stands empty. In addition, individual pianists are asked about Erik Satie, the location and this particular moment in history. What does the piece, "vexations", signify here? Fall of the Wall - what next? Images and sounds are historical documents. A musical meditation through poetic images." (Harald-Alexander Korp, www.hakorp.de, as of 6 January 2010)

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User Comments

Hallo, es war nicht am Schiffbauerdamm, sondern am Kapelle-Ufer. Wo jetzt der Neubau des BMI gebaut wurde. (Ich war dabei.. es war wunderbar..)


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