Jazzfest Berlin 2019: “Sonic Genome” by Anthony Braxton launches the festival on 31 October at Gropius Bau

56th Jazzfest Berlin from 31 October to 3 November 2019 

With the transatlantic cooperation project “Sonic Genome”, Nadin Deventer continues the festival’s orientation with international encounters and interdisciplinary border crossings. The advance ticket sale for “Sonic Genome” is starting today, 15 August (2 pm). Advance ticket sales for the complete festival programme (published on 3 September) will begin on 10 September.

Berliner Festspiele will launch the Jazzfest Berlin 2019 on 31 October with the third performance worldwide of Anthony Braxton’s “Sonic Genome”. US-American composer and multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton recurs to his integrating system of “Ghost Trance Music”. It allows 60 musicians to draw from up to 450 of his compositions in a continuous, six-hour performance. 14 US-American musicians from Braxton’s closest circle will be joined by 39 musicians from Berlin’s diverse scene and six members of the Australian Art Orchestra in a preparatory phase of several days. Together, they will develop a musical experience that will be unique both for the audience and for the musicians themselves. 

Anthony Braxton: “This project possibility is the kind of possibility that gives hope to the idea of creating new unities – new unities that can work together to push and advance the cause of creativity separate from the market place.”

Over the course of the performance, the 60 artists will congregate as large, conducted ensembles, fracture into groups of four to twelve musicians and perpetually form new communities while moving freely – like the visitors – through the premises of Gropius Bau. The opening night will give the opportunity to immerse oneself in Braxton’s œuvre – spanning five decades and unique in its diversity, originality and innovative power – and to experience contemporary art in Berliner Festspiele’s exhibition venue. 

Once again, the festival’s main venue – Haus der Berliner Festspiele – will undergo a redesign. The classic theatre set-up of the Main Stage will be transformed into a flexible performance area, surrounded by the audience on three sides. Late on Friday nights, three trios led by Anja Lauvdal, Petter Eldh and Lukas König will share this space for the first of two Late Night Labs, a new format at Jazzfest Berlin 2019, that is again under the sign of international and interdisciplinary collaborations.

On Saturday night, the same venue will see an encounter of 14 renowned improvisation artists from Europe, the USA and Brazil, including Mette Rasmussen, Julien Desprez, Susana Santos Silva, Guilherme Granado, Lotte Anker and Rob Mazurek, in an interdisciplinary performance. The musicians are entirely free in their use of the time and space in the 100 minutes at their disposal, and the protagonists of both encounters will develop the music together in the run-up to the events. New elements will emerge from reinterpretations of their repertoires in constantly shifting combinations and merge them into an integrated dramaturgy.

The commissioned work “Mass of Hyphae” by the 13-strong KIM Collectivepromises to be another festival highlight. With a sound installation, this collective from Berlin will leave the “UN(TER)ORT” it created in the previous year to spread across the foyer like a rhizome over the course of the festival, cumulating in a “Fungus Opera” performed on the Main Stage on the final night.

Saxophonist Mia Dyberg will be this year’s Berlin representative in the line-up of the European cooperation project for junior innovators melting pot. Following concerts in Saalfelden and Oslo, they will perform at A-Trane in Berlin.

The Jazzfest Berlin 2019 will be hosted by Berliner Festspiele from 31 October to 3 November. Around 200 musicians from 15 countries will perform in a wide range of formations over four festival days. The programme will include 28 musical acts and an accompanying programme focusing on the work and impact of Anthony Braxton. Moreover, several of the bands involved will make their German debut – and many formats and projects of the festival feature artists from Berlin.

The main venues of Jazzfest Berlin 2019 are Haus der Berliner Festspiele with its various stages, Gropius Bau, A-Trane, Quasimodo and the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church.

The concerts of the 2019 Jazzfest Berlin will be recorded by ARD and Deutschlandfunk Kultur, some of them to be broadcast LIVE. 

Partners of Sonic Genome: Tri-Centric Foundation, Andromeda Mega Express Orchestra, Australian Art Orchestra, KIM Collective, Trickster Orchestra, musicians from Berlin‘s “Echtzeit” music scene, Gropius Bau.
Supported by the Federal Agency for Civic Education and Musikfonds e. V. with project funds from the commissioner of Federal Government for Culture and Media.

Exhibitions at Gropius Bau that take place during the performance of Sonic Genome: 
Garden of Earthly Delights (26 July to 1 December 2019)
Wu Tsang „There is no nonviolent way to look at somebody“ (4 September 2019 to 12 January 2020)
Walking Through Walls (12 September 2019 to 19 January 2020)

Late Night Lab 1 (creation): 
Kaos Puls: Petter Eldh, bass | Lukas König, drums | Otis Sandsjö, sax
Mopcut (German premiere): Julien Desprez, e-guitar | Lukas König, drums | Audrey Chen, vocals, electronics, cello
Moskus (German premiere): Anja Lauvdal, piano, synth| Fredrik Luhr Dietrichson, double bass | Hans Hulbækmo, drums 

Late Night Lab 2 (creation): 
T(r)opic (German premiere): Susana Santos Silva, trumpet | Mette Rasmussen, sax | Isabel Sorling, vocals, electronics | Lotte Anker, sax | Mauricio Takara, e-percussions | Gerald Cleaver, drums | Ingebrigt Haker Flaten, bass | Rob Mazurek, trumpet/cornet, electronics | Julien Desprez, e-guitar | Mathieu Constans, 3D video maker/light designer
São Paolo Underground: Mauricio Takara, e-percussions | Guilherme Granado, keys/electronics | Rob Mazurek, trumpet/cornet
COCO (German premiere): Julien Desprez, e-guitar | Julien Loutelier, percussion | Pauline Simon, Dance, performance | Ana Rita Teodoro, dance, performance 

„Garden of Hyphae / The Mass Of Hyphae - a KIM Collective fungus opera“ (creation):
KIM Collective: Max Andrzejewski | Paul Berberich | Brad Henkel | Simon Kanzler | Liz Kosack | Raphael Meinhart | Dora Osterloh | Julia Reidy | Otis Sandsjo | Max Santner | Elias Stemeseder |  Dan Peter Sundland | Laura Winkler
Georg Schütky, director | Jonas Hinz, sound design

Melting pot (creation): Mia Dyberg, saxophone | Signe Emmeluth, sax | Kobe Boon, bass | Zbigniew Kozera, bass | Katharina Ernst, drums 
Partner Melting Pot: Jazztopad, Breslau; Handelsbeurs, Gent; Nasjonal Jazzscene Victoria, Oslo; International Jazzfestival Saalfelden

The advance ticket sale for “Sonic Genome” is starting today, 15 August (2 pm). Advance ticket sales for the complete festival programme (published on 3 September) will begin on 10 September.