Uli Aumüller, Sebastian Rausch
Sa, 09/10/2021, 17:00 Uhr
Improvisation / Klangkunst / Sound Art / Komponierte Musik

DULAB ALTAJ – Installation und Konzert zum Film

Improvisationen in Form eines musikalischen Reigens mit Ensemble Extrakte

Installation 9. and 10.10.2021, 17:00 till 22:00, concert in the installation 10.10.2021, 17:00
As in every metropolis in the world, Berlin houses many musicians with different migrant backgrounds and are enriched with diverse musical traditions which they continue to practice in their current local communities. In other words: in Berlin Syrian Musicians play Syrian music for a public of Syrian origin, Iranians for the Iranians, Turks for the Turks and Chinese for the Chinese. Sometimes overlapping occurs and we either have a mixed audience or the musicians on stage are mixed. But the Syrian, Iranian or Chinese is just a guest and joins the idiom of th others - playing for example Jazz, the Syrian mixes in a Syrian coloring - his own musical tradition yet the tone of his musical expression is left out.
Composer Sandeep Bhagwati and concert manager Elke Moltrecht have tried to change this since 2013. They are convinced, considering the social reality of our cities today, that by ventilating Eurocentric opinions a new kind of music could be realized.
Playing together no musician should deny or renounce his own origin nor overpower others. The question is: how can one invent music with these many different idioms, based on flexibility towards the other, responsiveness and originating from their own language? They gathered a swarm of prominent musicians living in Berlin (in each case in their own genre), immigrants from China, Europe, India, Korea, Bulgaria, Syria, Australia, and the USA. They all belong to varied scenes like Jazz, Folk, Techno, Blues and also from European based concert forms like Barock and New Music.
Concerts were given in various formations in the Berliner Radialsystem, in the Haus der Kulturen der Welt, in the Martin Gropius Bau - where research was done on geographical, historical, etnic and social sturctures and together giving birth to a new kind of music fitting for a new global reality. In this context and during this continuing process a concept for a film and a video-concert installation was conceived at the end of 2019 with the name: Dulab-al-Taj.
Next to Elke Moltrecht and Sandeep Bhatwati, Australian composer Cathy Milliken, Bulgarian Music ethnoligists Deniza Popova, Syrian oud-player Farhan Sabbagh and documentary filmer Uli Aumüller cooperated.
We initially start with 12 musicians from abroad who have settled in Berlin. They should designate a place that means home to them today. Either Berlin as a whole as their new homeland or a specific spot which reminds them of the country they left. At these specific places every musician, by themselves, plays some improvisations on a given musical theme composed by Farhan Sabbagh on his oud.
The improvisations are recorded in different ways - as accompaniment to the improvisations of the previous musician, as counterpart, or echo - and finishes with an improvised solo. The improvisations go back and forth (like 'Chinese Whispers' or 'Telephone') from musician to musician, every time newly interpreted and passed on. In the studio these soli are mixed with the recordings of the others and complemented with copies of the original melody so musical amateurs also understand the compositional structure of a Dulab.
What is a Dulab
The dulab (the wheel, the round - but also: the song) is a classical Arab variation of the European rondo form. The musicians begin by playing a relatively short melody together, which functions as a refrain, and then make place for a longer solo. Contrary to the rondo the refrain is not just repeated and embellished but always fancifully varied. The solo wanders around through the ensemble and every solo player comments on the previous one. The attraction of the Dulab in this constellation is that the melody and rhythm of the refrain is reflected and filtered by the difference in expression of the musicians.
The result is spacious air between the collective musical basis and the Dulab melody and rlating solos. The original arabic way of making music is now projected into a mixture of live analogue music and digital adaptation and the audience experiences and hears an abundance of different acoustic and visual homelands that are, while listening, understandably connected to each other. Arabian music did not just happen, nor did European, Indian or Chinese music and nor did "worldmusic". Music happens because of all the above examples.
A three-dimensional audio-visual installation was created from the film, in which the musicians react live to the film tracks.
Musical realisation: Cathy Milliken after a dulab melody by Farhan Sabbagh; film and sound: Uli Aumüller, Sebastian Rausch//inpetto filmproduktion; project management, artistic realisation: Uli Aumüller, Cathy Milliken, Elke Moltrecht.
The film was funded by the Kulturstiftung des Bundes/RELOAD. The concert installation was funded by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation.

  • Cathy Milliken – Musikalische Leitung

Ensemble Extrakte

Sören Birke, Maultrommel
Klaus Janek, Kontrabass
Cathy Milliken, Oboe
Deniza Popova, Stimme
Farhan Sabbagh, Oud
Gregor Schulenburg, Bassflöten
Ravi Srinivasan, Stimme, Percussion
Andi Teichmann, Live-Elektronik, Objekte
Hannes Teichmann, Live-Elektronik
Wu Wei, Sheng
Yoo Hong, Daegeum
Lucy Zhao, Pipa

12 Musiker (Ensemble Extrakte) spielten an 12 Orten in Berlin, mit denen sie Heimat verbinden, Kommentare zu einer Dulabmelodie und reichten diese weiter an den nächsten Musiker. Die Musiker*innen agieren live im dreidimensionalen Installationsraum.


  • Dauer: 22:00h
  • Bemerkungen zum Datum und Uhrzeit: Installation 9. und 10.10.2021, 17:00 bis 22:00, Konzert in der Installation 10.10.2021, 17:00
  • KINDL – Zentrum für zeitgenössische Kunst
  • Am Sudhaus 3, Berlin
  • Ticketpreis: Eintritt frei, Spenden erbeten