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Thies Mynther & Veit Sprenger

This Machine Kills – Hidden Tales of the Revolutionary Piano

The piano: a black hole. Life comes from the darkness. Dirt, moss, ferns, trees. Wood. Body. Resonance. Black keys, black paint. Pianos have no natural enemies. A piano stands in the grass land, waiting for a mate. The act lasts for days. Creaking and rumbling. Hardly a sound. The image is kitschy. In China pianos are bred systematically. “Learn to play the piano!” Mao Zedong shouted to his party officials. He himself could play quite well but never tried.

“This Machine Kills” is a short world history from the perspective of the piano, a necromantic evocation of the unlimited apparatus. Starting from Veit Sprenger’s (Showcase Beat Le Mot) and Thies Mynther’s (Phantom/Ghost) fascination for the instrument and its rich traditions, a musical performance on the piano’s efficacy was developed along with the dramaturge Anja Quickert. In collaboration with Alex Murray-Leslie (Chicks On Speed), who makes her set design debut here, the filmmaker Sandra Trostel and the choir director and internet activist Ithea Koch, they enter into a bio-mechanical ritual, barely finding their way out of this labyrinth.

After the event on October 26 there will be an artist talk with Thies Mynther, Veit Sprenger, Anja Quickert and Stefanie Alisch.
Stefanie Alisch is a musicologist from Berlin. She graduated with a baseline survey on Kuduro, an electronical dance music from Angola. At the same time she worked as DJ, ran “living room“ bars, was active in the Berlin music(technological)industry and led radio and DJ workshops. Since October 2018 she works as a professor for theory and history of populat music at Humboldt University Berlin.

Current Performances
Thu 25.10.2018, 19:00 / HAU3
Fri 26.10.2018, 19:00 / HAU3
Sat 27.10.2018, 19:00 / HAU3
Sun 28.10.2018, 19:00 / HAU3
English and German
Ithea Koch, Thies Mynther, Dasnya Sommer, Veit Sprenger
Ilonda Jördis Jäkel, Annette Finke, Christoph Braun, Monika G Dorniak, Lily Martin, Yaneev Topyol
Composition, text, artistic direction
Thies Mynther, Veit Sprenger
Concept, dramaturgy
Anja Quickert
Set Design
Alexandra Murray-Leslie
Sandra Fink
Dasnya Sommer
Choral Setting, Vocal Coaching
Ithea Koch
Sandra Trostel
Jörg Fischer
Johanna Thomas
Viktorie Vášová
Lighting Design
Joscha Eckert
Premiere 25 October 2018
Production: Sprenger / Mynther / Quickert. Co-production: HAU Hebbel am Ufer, Mousontrum (Frankfurt a.M). Funded by: Cultural Capital Fund. With the support of Clouds Hill Recordings. Thanks to: Alexandra Vogt and her horses.