Rwandan RecordsMarch, 2019
walkable music theater
Upon hearing the word Rwanda, most people probably think of the
genocide that began 25 years ago in April. There has been massive economic
development since then and the country now presents itself as an
“African Tiger”. But Rwanda’s younger generation, like Germany’s, has to
grapple with a difficult legacy. Crossing magnificent visions of the future
with yearnings for dispersed traditions, Dietrich and Kipfmüller, the Rwandan
spoken word artist Eric 1key and the Berlin-based composer Klaus
Janek have developed “Rwandan Records” – a record label, sound studio,
bar and archive of personal recollections. The project presents a new and
unusual perspective on identity in a global context. In Rwanda and Germany,
there is a similar interest in pop culture and the keywords used in
public debate – identity, migration, community, integration, home, tradition
and prosperity – are the same. But in Rwanda, they are associated
with completely different visions and thus gain new, expanded meanings.
After recording many conversations with many people in Rwanda, Dietrich
and Kipfmüller have created a heterogeneous ensemble of voices.
This work of walkable musical theatre is at once sound installation and
radio play, concert and staged space, whose acoustic architecture is
shaped by the audience. The composition moves between different times
and worlds, between traditional songs, pop music and electronic sounds.
The voices of the ensemble and its stories become a moving live symphony.
The audience’s movements are tracked so that at the end visitors can
download and take home with them a personal album of the stories that
Only the files that are listened to will be saved. The others will vanish.
Individual decisions thus enable collective knowledge to be preserved or
actively forgotten. A narrative that transcends genre and culture will
emerge on the basis of a combination of different times, visions of the
past and the future, as well as breaks in people’s biographies.
Jens Dietrich works in Rwanda regularly. He was last there for the
theatre production “Planet Kigali” that premiered in winter 2018 in Kigali
and at Hamburg’s Kampnagel theatre. Milena Kipfmüller won the Blind
War Veterans’ Radio Drama Prize for her radio version of the play “Hate
Radio” and she and Klaus Janek won the 2018 Music Theatre NOW Award
for their production “Musraropera”. In 2007, Klaus Janek composed the
techno opera “Afterhours” for one actor, 3 sopranos, 1 alto, 1 bass, 1 rock
singer, a choir and a sequencer, which premiered at Berlin’s Berghain
club. Janek’s music explores the boundaries between “serious” and popular”
music, performance and installation, noise and music, traditional and
contemporary and analogue and digital.
21 March 2019, as part of the „Find the File“ festival (HKW), 5-8 PM
22 – 24 March 2019, Haus der Kulturen der Welt, 5-8 PM
ARTISTIC DIRECTION & TEXT: Milena Kipfmüller, Jens Dietrich WITH:
Klaus Janek und Eric 1key SPECIALIST COUNSELLING Assumpta
Mugiraneza STAGE DESIGN Jelka Plate MUSIC & COMPOSITION Klaus
Janek ASSISTANCE Amina Nouns LIGHT AND TECHNICAL DIRECTION
Chris Umney PROGRAMMING Marco Peise PR Yven Augustin PRODUCTION
MANAGEMENT Annett Hardegen
VOICES Wesley Ruzibiza, Natacha Muziramakenga, Assumpta Mugiraneza,
Eric 1key, Chris Schwagga, Hervé Kimenyi, Jean Marie Vianney Mushabizi,
Deo Munyakazi, Yannick Kamenzi, Odette Mukakimenyi, Paul
Ntakirutimana, Evariste Karinganire, Jean Marie Vianney Mushabizi.
A PRODUCTION BY Dietrich/Kipfmüller IN CO-OPERATION WITH Haus
der Kulturen der Welt and the Iriba Centre for Multimedia Heritage Kigali
SPONSORED BY Hauptstadtkulturfonds and the Goethe-Institut Kigali SUPPORTED BY
Phonogramm Archiv Berlin
pic by Roberto Duarte