"In die Luft geschrieben" - premiere February 22nd, 2018
​Work notes
Written for and commissioned by Münchener Kammerorchester
Upon “Grabschriften in die Luft geschrieben” by Nelly Sachs (Suhrkamp edit.)
For mezzosoprano, harp, celesta, percussion and string orchestra (
Duration: 33 minutes

33 poems by Nelly Sachs set into music with no caesura making a unique, fluent piece. Poems can be submitted to music treatments of different lengths: very short (20 seconds) up to 2 minutes ca.
All poems evoke a person and have the initial of her/him in the title except three.
These 3 poems with no initials of the person who is depicted (the mother, the child, the lovers) are used to shape the form of the whole piece in four parts:

7 poems with initials / 1 poem without
8 with / 1 without
7 with / 1 without
8 with / instrumental coda

During the poems with no initials the singer move to another position where she "writes" the initials of the unknown person with a gesture (e. g. rubbing a thunder sheet with a needle, or articulating a name voiceless but moving the lips...). And/or at the end of the piece the singer can join the musicians for the coda and "play" together an instrument (a real one - bells? -, or an imaginary one, or a sound object like stones).

The initials of the names become musical letters (name of notes or sounds) and provide a symbolic content and constraints to images, thoughts, meanings, feelings offered by the poem to music interpretation.
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