P r o j e c t s
P r o j e c t s
05.May 2024 | 8:00 pm
Podium Festival
New Compositions by the Trickster Collective, presented by Ensemble Reflektor
23.May 2024 | 8:00 pm
Pantopia Festival
25.May 2024 | 8:00 pm
Persian Poetry and Contemporary Music
Wege durch das Land Festival
14.Sep 2024 | 8:00 pm
Goethe in Exile
16.Nov 2024 | 8:00 pm
Be Kind Festival
03.May 2025 | 8:00 pm
Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik

Disturbing the Universal

presented by Outernational

“What happens when we let go of our traditions? We become new ones.”

Wendy M.K. Shaw, 2018

With their secret knowledge and intellect, their will to mess up universal orders, and their revolutionary nature, Tricksters are transformative shapeshifters. They destroy – think of Joker or the Indian goddess Kali – or smoothly change reality – as in the more subtle tricks of animal chimeras.

The Trickster Orchestra firmly believes that this world needs more tricksters. Gathering outstanding thinkers of social, ecological, and postcolonial change, installation artists, and soloists from various music traditions, “Disturbing the Universal” creates a multimedia performance that follows the paths of mythological Tricksters to explore how to enable social and cultural change today: How can new ideas be born: Through destruction, mutation, imitation, adaptation or revolution?

For “Disturbing the Universal,” the artistic directors of the orchestra, Cymin Samawatie and Ketan Bhatti, join the curator Elisa Erkelenz for research trips to Bangkok, Chiang Mai, and Bangalore to explore the creative ways in which local musicians incorporate music traditions into new and daring forms – how they change the sound of their environments through music. Some of these musicians from Thailand and India as well as some of the most pioneering theorists of change then join the Trickster Orchestra to develop a multimedia and genre-busting concert performance between improvisation, storytelling, music, installation art, and thought that forges a space of words, sound, and visuals inspired by the appeal of the shifting and the ambiguous  that disrupt our universal orders.


Vocals Cymin Samawatie
Cello Anil Eraslan
Viola Martin Stegner
Double Bass Ralf Schwarz
Paetzold Recorder & Flutes Susanne Fröhlich
Ney & Kavala Mohamad Fityan
Sheng Wu Wei
Bass Clarinet & Electronics Milian Vogel
Clarinet Mona Matbou Riahi
Koto Naoko Kikuchi
Trombone Florian Juncker
Vibraphone & Marimba Taiko Saito
Grand Piano Niko Meinhold
Electronics Korhan Erel
Drums Ketan Bhatti
Virtual Vocals M.D. Pallavi
Virtual Veena Jayanthi Kumaresh
Virtual Phin & Khaen Tontrakul Kaewyong
Sound and Video Installation Arnont Nongyao & Thatchatham Silsupan
Outernational Listening Session Wendy M. K. Shaw & Timothy Morton 
Concept, Dramaturg Elisa Erkelenz
Photography Arnaud Ele