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September 2023

Sunday Matinee with Georg Bertram and Lauren Newton

Sunday Matinee with Georg Bertram and Lauren NewtonVocal performance by Lauren Newton and talk with Georg Bertram | Moderation: Mathias Maschat2023So03Sept11:0011:00 exploratorium berlin, hall


3. September 2023 11:00


exploratorium berlin, hall

Other Events


Talk in German language

Lauren Newton: Traces – vocal performance

Georg Bertram: „Menschliche Praxis als improvisatorische Praxis“ (“Human practice as improvisational practice”)
Philosopher Georg Bertram in conversation with Mathias Maschat

“While growing up, our inner artist child improvised daily and as a matter of fact all of us improvise every day with our voice and words in conversation without even thinking about it. Music improvisation in a freer sense offers an open field for exploring the essence of music from a different perspective, from the inside out, so to speak, rather than from the notes on a page.” (Lauren Newton: Vocal Adventures. Free Improvisation in Sound, Space, Spirit and Song, Hofheim: Wolke, 2022, S. 17)

“The uncertainty of improvisation is a central moment of its exploratory power. Only by improvising can we explore the unknown. If we remain in the space of certainty, the world and others remain closed to us. In this sense, uncertainty is an important achievement of improvisation. It is a particularly important element of an attitude with which we open ourselves to the world and to others.” (Georg W. Bertram, Michael Rüsenberg: Improvisieren! Lob der Ungewissheit, Stuttgart: Reclam, 2021, S. 106)

The contribution of our Denkraum Improvisation (Thinking Space Improvisation) to the opening of the new spaces will take the form of a Sunday matinee. It will be introduced by a vocal performance entitled Traces by the pioneering vocal artist Lauren Newton, who has been awarded the Special Lifetime Achievement Jazz Prize of Baden-Württemberg in 2020. Born in Oregon (USA), she studied classical voice at the University of Oregon and at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart and has lived in Baden-Württemberg since 1974. The most important driving force of her creative work proved to be the desire for free improvisation. After teaching in Graz, Essen and Berlin, she was professor for jazz singing and free improvisation at the Lucerne School of Music from 1993 to 2019, followed by a teaching position for improvisation, music and movement at the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik in Trossingen from 2019 to 2020. She has worked with Ernst Jandl, Bobby McFerrin, Jeanne Lee, the Vienna Art Orchestra, Maggie Nicols, Peter Kowald, Barre Phillips, Maria João, Aki Takase, Joëlle Léandre, Anthony Braxton, and many other greats of the international improvisation scene, and has performed as a soloist in various theatre and dance productions. In her recently published book, Vocal Adventures, she distils many of her experiences. “With her way of singing, she has opened doors to new musical sound spaces and expanded the spectrum of vocal expression in fascinating ways.” (Bert Noglik) Lauren Newton last performed at the exploratorium in 2021 with her group Blindflug, and next October she will offer a weekend workshop, also titled Vocal Adventures (October 27–29). In addition, her performance will introduce the “VOICE” focus of the upcoming Denkraum program, when Alex Nowitz (October 5), Ute Wassermann (November 16), and Charlotte Hug (December 1) will be guests at the exploratorium.

For the second part of the Sunday matinee, we have invited the philosopher Prof. Dr. Georg W. Bertram, who has been teaching at the FU Berlin since 2007. Among other research areas, his work focuses especially on philosophical aesthetics and the philosophy of language. He is one of the few philosophers working intensively on questions of improvisation and improvising. Georg Bertram’s research on this topic is embedded in his preoccupation with the philosophy of art and aesthetics, on which he has published extensively and with a high public profile. His reflections on art are characterized in particular by the fact that he resolutely locates art as a human practice and sees it as a “highly productive reflexive practice within the framework of the human relationship to the world” – indeed, that art must be understood quite decisively as a “practice of freedom”. In 2021, together with jazz journalist Michael Rüsenberg, he published a book on improvisation in the Reclam series Was bedeutet das alles? Improvisieren. Lob der Ungewissheit, in which they classify improvisation as an essential and fundamental human ability and elaborate on its comprehensive significance in the various fields of human activity. Since 2002, Georg Bertram has been leading the subproject Improvisation as a Paradigm of Artistic Interventions within the framework of the new Sonderforschungsbereich Intervening Arts at the FU Berlin. Numerous essays also testify to his expertise in the field of improvisation, beginning in 2000 with an essay on an aesthetics of openness via Improvisation and Normativity in 2010, and ending with several articles in recent years in the context of the thematic field of “human practice as improvisational practice”, which is also the focus of the conversation with Denkraum curator Mathias Maschat.

NO(W)HERE – Lauren Newton (voice) with Joëlle Léandre (double bass), Christine Chu (dance), Carolin Bock (light) und Koho Mori (stage design) on the occasion of the award ceremony of the Baden-Württemberg Jazz Prize for her lifetime achievement

Georg Bertram in conversation with Michael Rüsenberg: „Dieses Gespräch ist improvisiert“ (in German language)


Admission: 10/5 € (normal prize/reduced)
No reservation required

Recording: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3X8ihiaelKc

This event is part of the Monat der zeitgenössischen Musik: https://www.field-notes.berlin/mdzm

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