The Body Memory

Hang Su | MAM.manufaktur für aktuelle musik

© Hang Su

September 29, 2019


The Body Memory is the second collaboration of MAM. manufaktur für aktuelle musik with Chinese-German composer and visual artist Hang Su. It brings back to life the Berlin of the Eighties, crossfading it with rituals that lead to historic China. The piece is centered on Jürgen Baldiga, photographer of West Berlin’s queer subculture, and author Ronald M. Schernikau, the last person ever to emigrate from the West to the other side of the iron curtain. Both died of the effects of their HIV infection. Unpublished material from their archives provides the basis for this time travel which unites elements from text, performance and concert to form a theatre rich in pictures and allusions. Linked to the composer’s own memories of these years are his feelings of being an artist lost between two cultures. This is where the legend of Hu Tianbao enters Berlin – having been executed because he loved men, Chinese underworld officials transfered him into the body of a rabbit, elevating him to be the patron saint of homosexuals.

The German composer of Chinese origin Hang Su works in the intermedial field of contemporary music, sound and visual art. While his early works were based on phonetic analyses of the Chinese language, he has been experimenting with contemporary playing techniques on the traditional Chinese zither Qin since 2015. Spatial scores combine improvisational processes with spatial sound movements, video projections are translated into musical gestures as part of a performance, sound becomes notation and image.
MAM.manufaktur für aktuelle musik was founded in 2010 by scholarship holders of the International Ensemble Modern Academy out of fascination for new forms of playing contemporary music. In addition to cultivating a contemporary repertoire, the musicians feel a particular commitment to alternative and experimental playing practices at the intersection of performance, improvisation and the interpretation of composed music. In its concerts, the ensemble regularly contrasts music of different origins, epochs and disciplines.

Running time: approx. 60 min.
Language no problem.

with Paul Hübner (trumpet), Richard Haynes (clarinet), Sabrina Ma (percussion), Ludwig Obst (voice), Hang Su (qin) Concept, composition, direction, stage design Hang Su Choreography Yotam Peled Text Daniel Schmidt, Hang Su

A production by MAM.manufaktur for contemporary music in cooperation with BAM – The Berlin Festival for Contemporary Music Theatre 2019, WERKSTATTMACHER / LOFFT – Das Theater and Ballhaus Ost. Supported by Initiative Neue Musik Berlin and Musikfonds with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. Many thanks for the support to the Gay Museum Berlin, Aron Neubert, Thomas Keck and Alan Schernikau.

BAM! is the festival of the independent music theatre scene in Berlin. From September 26 to 29, 2019, BAM! is presenting thirteen productions of contemporary music theatre and four late night shows in more than thirty performances that combine a wide variety of artistic approaches, forms and project formats to create a panorama of contrasting views of contemporary music theatre. This year, the festival anchors itself in the Volksbühne, supplemented by Acker Stadt Palast, Ballhaus Ost and St. Elisabeth Church. Under the label »Berlin Meets Rotterdam« three important ensembles of the Dutch music theatre scene will join the Berlin actors as guests.
The complete program and detailed information about BAM! can be found at

BAM! is produced by ZMB – Contemporary Music Theatre Berlin e.V. in cooperation with Volksbühne, Acker Stadt Palast, Ballhaus Ost, Kultur Büro Elisabeth and Operadagen Rotterdam. Supported by the Berlin Senate Department for Culture and Europe (transdisciplinary funding), the Performing Arts Fund NL and the Rudolf Augstein Foundation. In cooperation with the Month of Contemporary Music Berlin.

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