P r o j e c t s
P r o j e c t s
14.Sep 2024 | 8:00 pm
UNSETTLING SOUNDS: Iran & Afghanistan
Goethe-Institut in Exile / Part of the Month of Contemporary Music Berlin of the initiative new music / field notes berlin
03.May 2025 | 8:00 pm
Wittener Tage für Neue Kammermusik


Our memory preserves your names.
Our mouth carries them from the folds and the paper.

Senthuran Varatharajah

The program series UNSETTLING SOUNDS by the Berlin Trickster Orchestra brings together lyrical voices and musical sounds that speak of deep contemporary upheavals. Across the globe, people are experiencing threats to their existence from repressive regimes, the loss of freedom, inequality, racism or displacement. Such existentially destabilizing experiences can hardly be expressed in rational language.

UNSETTLING SOUNDS uses contemporary music and poetry to formulate a new expression, a new language for the subjectively experienced conditions of our time. Each edition zooms into individual societies to trace voices from contemporary and modern poetry as well as the sounds of current music that process contemporary threats in a novel fashion. The recitations, chants and sounds of the editions share an emotional terrain of pain, brokenness and at the same time the search for one’s own language and agency. The global lyrical voices and multilingual vocals reflect the complex shades of human experience and enable us to perceive inner conscience and identify with it in order to strengthen its essence.


UNSETTLING SOUNDS : Postmigrantisches Deutschland

The degradation of migration, complex biographies and the increasing threat to a pluralistic, open society are drastically and threateningly evident in Germany. The perspectives of people of color and people whose families have migrated or who have immigrated themselves are often blatantly absent from public discourse. The Trickster Orchestra plays new collective improvisations as a reaction to these conditions, the remigration debates and discursive voids. What sonic language can give voice to ongoing violence and experienced dehumanization? Using global instrumentation, contemporary poetry and a transcultural richness of language and timbre, the orchestra highlights the threats to post-migrant life and multi-perspective thinking in Germany. This edition includes poetry by Senthuran Varatharjah, Sveta Kundish, Cymin Samawatie, Cham Saloum, and Nāzik Ṣādiq al-Malāʾika.


UNSETTLING SOUNDS : Iran & Afghanistan

The concert, curated together with the Afghan writer and women’s rights activist Mariam Meetra, focuses on two countries in which many women are fighting for their right to life, participation, and self-determination. In the face of such threats, the Trickster Orchestra creates an acoustic form of expression of global interconnectedness and interdependence that gains presence in trans-traditional sound. The poems by poets Forugh Farrochzād (1935-1967), Mariam Meetra (*1992), Shafiqa Khpalwak (*1996), Cymin Samawatie (*1976) and Atefe Asadi (*1994) in Farsi, Dari and Pashto articulate the limits of the expressive capacity of spoken language in impressive images. They reflect upon the lack of freedom and focus on female perspectives in inner and outer exile. Ultimately, they revolve around the question of how inner conscience, marked by suffering, loss of homeland, and the struggle for freedom, can find recognition. The concert is part of the initiative neue musik e.V. / field notes berlin’s Month of Contemporary Music in Berlin.


Vocals, conductor, artistic director Cymin Samawatie
Recitation Mariam Meetra
Recitation Sveta Kundish
Recitation Senthuran Varatharajah
Santoor, flute Azin Zahedi
Qanoon Eleanna Pitsikaki
Oud, vocals Cham Saloum
Bağlama, vocals Berivan Canbolat
Nay, kawala Mohamad Fityan
Viola Maria Reich
Viola Marc Kopitzki
Cello Jakob Nierenz
Double bass Ralf Schwarz
Recorders Susanne Fröhlich
Flutes Tilmann Dehnhard
Clarinet Mona Matbou Riahi
Bass clarinet, electronics Milian Vogel
Trumpet Lina Allemano
Trombone Florian Juncker
Tuba Matthew Bookert
Vibraphone, marimba Taiko Saito
Drums, electronics, artistic direction Ketan Bhatti
Head dramaturg, concert introduction Philip Geisler