tempelhof broadcast

tempelhof broadcast by Lisa Bielawa
location: Tempelhof Berlin
music project on the former air field Tempelhof
curating and project consulting by Daniel Daoudi

Tempelhof Broadcast brings together hundreds of musicians in a large-scale spatial acoustic musical celebration in and about Tempelhofer Park in Berlin, composed by American composer Lisa Bielawa. The 60-minute piece will be composed expressly for performance on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport. This site, famous for its role in the Berlin Airlift in 1948-49, is currently open to the public, unaltered, but in 2013 it will begin to evolve into a new role in the life of the city.

May 10-12, 2013, the runways will be turned into a vast musical canvas, as community and professional musicians execute a spatialized symphony. A partnership between Grün Berlin, Ensemble Mosaik, Work in Progress – Berlin, the Knights Chamber Orchestra of New York, and Bielawa, the performance will also include hundreds of amateur and student musicians.

It will be free and open to the public, and it will happen around and among the regular public uses of the Park.
The massive event will begin in the center of the field and disperse outwards according to instructions given in the score, some players moving in clusters, others spreading out in long chains, before exiting the park.

Groups may be instructed to stay close to each other for a certain duration, then peel away. Some musicians playing larger instruments (like pianos) will play on the beds of motorized luggage carriers that move between the slower-moving groups. Their music would be composed to form different sonic relationships with the musical tasks of the larger groups they approach or transect.

Although the musicians will perform without the aid of any technology beyond simple synchronized wristwatches, New York City’s public radio station WQXR will host a site for the project, where multiple streams of live media from people attending the event can be heard, seen and combined, anywhere in the world.