documenta 14 radio “singing yesterday’s news again”

the news hourly brought to you by
Natascha Sadr Haghighian & Nicholas Bussmann
on documenta14 radio
SAVVY Funk
17.June-8.July

Every day, a singer sings yesterday’s news in her own way. The first day, a singer sings just the news from the day before. The following day, another singer recounts the news sung the days before, recopying what yesterday’s singers sung while also adding yesterday’s news in his own way. Over the course of three weeks the voices slowly form a choir, an iso-polyphonic composition of old news—sung, recopied, and thereby intentionally and unintentionally reinterpreted. The oral reinterpretations excite social resonances and make a common space audible in a manner that goes beyond a simple echo chamber.

The news made available to the singers as lyrics is compiled from the news feed of a public radio station. The compilation of news from this pool of reports follows the official criteria of relevance and factuality. But because the geographic coordinates of the feed are altered daily, the perspective of what is considered topical changes. Day by day this shift inscribes itself into the composition and recalls geopolitical reverberations in the echo chamber of the newsroom. Forgetting and silencing are part of the chant as much as accords, dissonances, and resonances. Adding another resonant pollutant, the singers invited to sing the news come from different traditions of music and poetry. Repetition and reiteration is corrupted by these various factors.

News Trilogy part I at Maermusik

MaerzMusik

Nicholas Bussmann
The News Trilogy Part I: The News Blues (2014)
Sat.12.5.2016 Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Cottbusser Chor
Lucile Desamory
Yusuf Ergün
Margareth Kammerer
Laura Mello
Eduard Mont di Palol
Rico Repotente
Todosch Schlopsnies

Cottbusser Chor 645-17

“The News Blues” is a musical and social experiment using the tools of algorithmic composition. Nicholas Bussmann approaches news as a data stream, processed, imitated, harmonised, misunderstood and transformed into a polyphony of voices and meanings by seven performers with differing mother tongues. “The News Blues” questions the relationships between language and music, sense and nonsense, the causes of exclusion and integration, the manufacture of consensus and opinion. Presented as live durational performance in the Haus der Berliner Festspiele’s Kassenhalle, “The News Blues” accompanies an evening devoted to algorithmic composition.