Digital programme booklet

Fr 24.05. Mensch, Musik „Leading (Astray)“

7.30 pm. Haus des Rundfunks

Jonathan Stockhammer, Conductor
tauchgold, Text, concept, realisation
Jocelyn B. Smith, Recitation and singing
Veronika Bachfischer, Acting
Emme Moises und Samaquias Lorta, Electronic Music
Schüler:innen der Sophie-Scholl-Schule, Rap-Choir
Ariane Stamatescu, Assistant director
Ossagrosse, Performance in the foyer
Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin

Concert with Deutschlandfunk Kultur, broadcast on 31 May 2024 at 8.03 pm.

In cooperation with Catalyst – Institute for Creative Arts and Technology

Die Performance findet ohne Pause statt.


Seduction everywhere

Life is always about questions of leadership and seduction, starting with the fact that I have to lead my own life and deal with the various seductions that present themselves to me. But seduction has never been as omnipresent as it is today. More than ever before, technological progress allows for the targeted irradiation and visualisation of each and every individual at any time and in any place. We are constantly exposed to the whispers of the various political, economic and erotic pick-up artists that populate the global public sphere.

How do I deal with this as an individual? Which guidance and which seduction do I seek? Which do I succumb to, which do I resist? Who do I allow to lead me? By whom will I be seduced? In other words: How do I find my own ground and how do I stand on it?

‘Leading (Astray)’, the last performance in the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin's three-year ‘Mensch, Musik!’ series, takes up these questions and expands on them by considering whether and how people can be seduced into doing good by aesthetic means. This time, the focus is on a work for recitation, rap choir and symphony orchestra, ‘...said the shotgun to the head’ by Thomas Kessler (music) and Saul Williams (text).

Programme for the evening

Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886)
‘Les Préludes’ - Symphonic Poem No. 3 (excerpt 1)

Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)
‘G-Spot Tornado’ (orchestral version)

‘Just this one question - Three seductions’ (1)
Text only in German

Emme Moises & Samaquias Lorta
‘Deflecting Prism’ (1)

Thomas Kessler (1937 - 2024)
‘...said the shotgun to the head’ for rap recitation, rap choir, string quartet and orchestra, Text by Saul Williams (excerpt 1)

Franz Liszt
‘Les Préludes’ (2)

Dai Fujikura (born 1977)
‘Tocar y Luchar’ for orchestra (abridged)

Emme Moises & Samaquias Lorta
‘Deflecting Prism’ (2)

‘Just this one question - Three seductions’ (2)
Text only in German

Thomas Kessler
‘...said the shotgun to the head’ (2)

Franz Liszt
‘Les Préludes’ (excerpt 3)

‘Just this one question - three seductions’ (3)
Text only in German

Heiner Goebbels (born 1952)
‘Dwell Where The Dogs Dwell’ -
Horatier-Song No. 3 from ‘Surrogate Cities’ for voice and orchestra

Paul Hindemith (1895 - 1963)
‘Engelskonzert’ - 1st movement from the symphony ‘Mathis der Maler’

Emme Moises & Samaquias Lorta
‘Deflecting Prism’ (3)

Thomas Kessler
‘...said the shotgun to the head’ (3)

Lili Boulanger (1893 - 1918)
‘D'un matin de printemps’ for orchestra

‘/Sleep’ by Ossagrosse - performance in the foyer

The AI-based short film installation ‘/Sleep’ by Ossagrosse can be experienced in the foyer of the Haus des Rundfunks before and after the performance in the main broadcasting hall. The short stories are set in supermarkets, busy streets and other everyday environments, told sometimes distantly, sometimes intimately by the narrator's voice and the almost human figures that populate these worlds. The result of this work in space is a series of images and sounds that come together to create a stream of consciousness, a living environment that speaks.

‘Les Préludes’ by Franz Liszt

Chaste is the title, suggestive the music. One of the most demonised seduction artists in the history of music, the legendary piano wizard Franz Liszt created an unparalleled rousing orchestral work in 1854 with his symphonic poem ‘Les Préludes’. So rousing that the National Socialists used it in an inflationary manner to announce the victory of the German Wehrmacht on the radio.

The Berlin Radio Orchestra, which later became the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra, recorded the martial fanfare for the first time in the spring of 1941 in the very broadcasting hall in the Haus des Rundfunks where we are sitting tonight. The fanfare was first used to frenetically celebrate the German invasion of the Soviet Union on 22 June 1941.

Zappa's tornado

There isn't actually much going on in Frank Zappa's 1986 album ‘Jazz From Hell’, certainly nothing hellish. Nevertheless, the (lyric-less) song ‘G-Spot Tornado’ made it onto the index of the ‘Parents Music Resource Centre’, a control body set up by concerned US politicians' wives in 1985, simply because of its provocative title. Frank Zappa defended himself at the hearing with purely musical arguments.

He had programmed highly complex polyrhythms and bizarre sounds on the synthesiser that no one could ever play live. Well, he soon did it himself in his concerts and even arranged the song for symphony orchestra.

The wild harmonic leaps and penetrating sound clusters make a big impact in the environment of ‘serious’ contemporary music, as Frank Zappa was able to realise time and again at performances he conducted himself. The music unmasks the powerful stimulus words ‘G-spot’, ‘tornado’ and ‘hell’ as the mischievous gimmicks of a serious humourist. ‘Jazz From Hell’ earned Frank Zappa his long-deserved first ‘Grammy’ in 1988.

The shotgun to the head - Thomas Kessler's rap oratorio

It is barely four weeks since the Swiss composer and pioneer of electronic music, Thomas Kessler, died at the age of 87. He worked closely with the conductor of tonight's concert, Jonathan Stockhammer, among others, until the very end.

The half-hour rap oratorio ‘…said the shotgun to the head’ on a text by Saul Williams brings together completely new forms of music: Recitation, rap choir, symphony orchestra.

The fireworks of the rap poem, an almost uninterrupted torrent of words, correspond with cleverly placed musical accents that seem almost chaste despite their contemporary language. The rap poem is told over 182 pages, knows no interruptions - like the medieval Song of the Nibelungs - and hurls one word stimulus after another at our ears. The lines that gave the composition its title are a striking example:

‘Oil-smeared feathers / foul-smelling waterbed / “Mother Nature is a whore” / said the shotgun to the head / And it smelled of teenage spirit / fear driven uncertain / a land in rot / a land at war’.

Heiner Goebbels - got on the dog

‘The material is ancient, handed down by Livy and adapted in numerous plays (from Corneille to Brecht) and operas (from Cimarosa to Mercadante): a civil war-like conflict between two neighbouring cities that is to be fought by proxy by two men in order to save forces. Despite their kinship (one is betrothed to the other's sister), the Horatian defeats the Curiatian, who is fighting for Alba, on behalf of Rome, but does not spare him and hopes to be duly celebrated at home. When his sister bursts into tears instead, he murders her. Rome now has two men in one: a victor and a murderer. How to deal with this?’ (Heiner Goebbels) This is the key question in Heiner Müller's adaptation, which Heiner Goebbels has set to music in ‘Three Horatian Songs’. Jocelyn B. Smith sang the premiere of the ensemble version on 8 September 2002, Jonathan Stockhammer conducted the Ensemble Modern. ‘Dwell Where the Dogs Dwell’, the last of the ‘Three Horatier Songs’, was written back in 1991 for Gail Gilmore and the music theatre work ‘Roman Dogs’. Dwell Where the Dogs Dwell‘ was orchestrated for Goebbels’ ‘Surrogate Cities’.

In the ancient legend, the fanatical hero is first honoured for his love of country and then executed for the murder of his sister. Do the two belong together, as human beings? What do we think about responsibility today?

Playing and fighting - Dai Fujikura

‘Tocar y Luchar’ was dedicated to the 30th birthday of the Venezuelan-born conductor Gustavo Dudamel, who conducted the Simon Bolivar Youth Orchestra at the premiere. The composition celebrates the swarm intelligence in nature and transfers it to the sustainable public support programme for children in Venezuela, ‘El Sistema’. ‘To prepare for writing this work, I researched “El Sistema”. The programme enables children to learn an instrument and play it in an orchestra. I decided that the concept of ‘Tocar y Luchar’ should have a meaning of ‘flocking’, just like birds or fish do in nature. Many small birds fly together and become one big bird. ... So musically, the whole piece is like a big melody made up of many small phrases, sometimes together, sometimes in counterpoint, but they always fly or swim together as one big phrase. I'm interested in the transition from texture to phrases, from phrases to rhythmic patterns and back to extensively formed phrases.’ (Dai Fujikura)

Where art thou, good Jesus? - asks Paul Hindemith

In 1932, the Schott publishing house suggested to Paul Hindemith that he write an opera about a great German from the past, such as Gutenberg or Grünewald. Hindemith declined, he found no access to Gutenberg, Grünewald seemed practically unsuitable to him, too much a painter, too little a musician. Instead, he began a draft for a love story - between a French prisoner of war and a German girl. Now the publisher was startled: pacifism and internationalism in 1933? Was Hindemith out of his mind? In bitter realisation, he now planned an opera about the beginnings of the railway, beautifully apolitical. But in June 1933 Hindemith's conscience prevailed, not a railway story, but Grünewald.

‘This man, gifted with the highest conceivable perfection and realisation of his artistic work, but obviously plagued by all the hellish torments of a doubting, searching soul, experiences with all the receptivity of such a nature at the beginning of the 16th century the dawning of a new age with its inevitable overthrow of previously prevailing views. At the beginning of the 16th century, he experienced the dawn of a new era with its inevitable upheaval of the previously prevailing views…

... He was caught up in the machinery of the state and the church, which was working mightily at the time, and withstood the pressure of these powers with his strength, but in his pictures he reports clearly enough how the wildly moving course of time with all its misery, illnesses and wars shook him.’ The summary of his image of Grünewald, which Hindemith formulated in 1938, reveals the strong autobiographical connection that the 20th century composer was able to establish with the 16th century painter.

The ‘Engelskonzert’ refers to a panel of the Isenheim Altarpiece by Mathias Grünewald and is to be taken quite literally. In an unearthly, transfigured atmosphere, trombones, horns and trumpets/clarinets/oboes intonate an old church hymn, the cantus firmus ‘Es sungen drei Engel’. Hindemith interweaves the melody with an elaborate polyphonic network.

Funeral march into life - Lili Boulanger

The French composer Lili Boulanger is one of the greats of the early 20th century. What could have become of her if she had been allowed to stay on earth longer than just twenty-four years!

Marie-Juliette Olga (Lili) Boulanger was born in Paris in 1893 and died in 1918. It was a death foretold, as the young woman suffered from chronic health problems throughout her life, caused by lung problems in childhood and later by a disease similar to Crohn's disease, which is still feared today.

Her education consisted of private lessons and repeated attempts to take up regular studies. Nevertheless, Lili Boulanger was awarded the Prix de Rome in 1913. The critic Émile Vuillermoz made the outrageous comment in the magazine ‘Musica’ in July 1913: ‘If the porcelain dolls of music decide to fight with Him for official laurels, He has already lost before He has even begun.’ ‘He’ here probably means the composing man par excellence, who had to admit defeat to a woman for the first time in the history of the Rome Prize in Paris in July 1913. ‘D'un matin de printemps’ and ‘D'un soir triste’ are the last two works written by Lili's own hand. Begun in spring 1917 and largely completed in January 1918, they form a diptych, in other words two sides of the same coin. This should be recognised, even if - as in today's concert - only one of the two parts is performed. The orchestral complexity, the rhythmic complexity and the rich instrumental colours of the lavishly scored orchestra in both ‘Sad Evening’ and ‘Spring Morning’ make us completely forget Lili Boulanger's young age. Her sister Nadia Boulanger gave up composing after Lili's death, but she became one of the most respected composition teachers of the 20th century.

© Texte by tauchgold and Steffen Georgi

Jonathan Stockhammer

Jonathan Stockhammer has made a name for himself on both sides of the Atlantic in the world of opera, classical symphony and contemporary music. As an excellent communicator, he has a special talent for presenting concerts and creates a working relationship on an equal footing with a wide variety of participants – whether in large opera production teams, with young musicians, young rappers or stars like Bully Herbig and the Pet Shop Boys. His operatic conducting list, including Zemlinsky’s A Florentine Tragedy, Sciarrino’s Luci mie traditrici and Damon Albarn’s Monkey: Journey to the West, shows him as a conductor who embraces and masters complex scores and cross-genre productions as a welcome challenge.

Jocelyn B. Smith

Jocelyn B. Smith (*New York, 1960), has lived in Germany for the past 30 years. She has held more than 3.000 live concerts and has worked with very different artists such as Lenny White,Till Brönner, Falco, Alphaville, or composers such as Mikis Theodorakis, Heiner Goebbels and Zülfu Livanelli. In 2011, Jocelyn was asked to sing „Amazing Grace“ at the Berlin commemoration of September 11 at the Brandenburger Tor, which was broadcasted worldwide by CNN. She participated in the last concert held prior to closing the „Tränen Palast“ at the former German Border in front of special guests that included Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Angela Merkel, US-Presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, German Bishop Wolfgang Huber, members of the German House of Parliament, Presidents of the Federal Republic of Germany, Roman Herzog and Horst Köhler. In 2018, Jocelyn was honoured by Federal President Frank Walter Steinmeier with the Federal Cross of Merit for her social commitment. In 2019, she received the Order of Merit from the Governing Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, and in 2020 she was awarded the Beethoven Prize for her social commitment and activism.


Since 2007, tauchgold (Heike Tauch and Florian Goldberg) have been realising pieces at the interface between radio and stage. Their work includes social satires, historical dramas and philosophical themes. However, specially composed music always plays a central role. In 2019, their stage work “The Glassing Sea. A Narratorio for Strings and Voices”, which was created with a composition by Cathy Milliken based on the radio piece “Metamorphosen”, premiered in Munich in 2019. For “Geborgte Landschaft. A Narratorio for Piano Trio and Voices”, the composer Dai Fujikura wrote the music (2022). The English stage version “BORROWED LANDSCAPE” premiered in New York in 2023 and will tour the US from 2024. Since 2022, tauchgold have been realising the RSB series “Mensch, Musik!” as an author-director team.

Tom Zips

Tom Zips grew up in a prefabricated housing estate in Berlin-Marzahn.  He found his adopted home at the age of 18 in Brandenburg’s Brisetal near Bergfelde. There he began to pursue his musical passion and initially wrote his first songs on his own in the field of rock music. He later took guitar and singing lessons, which also made his songwriting more pop music orientated.

During this time, Tom Zips was a full-time industrial clerk and worked very successfully in marketing in the Berlin advertising industry for over 10 years. In 2020, he turned his passion into a profession and founded the charity songwriting project ‘Hr. Bluse & Die Muse’, in which he dedicates songs to people in need.

Tom Zips released his first debut single ‘Menschenkind’ under his own name in April 2024, which thematically stands for more peaceful solutions in human diversity.

Emme Moises

Emme Moises is an electronic musician, producer and live performer from Argentina, based in Berlin. Creating and performing across different live both visual and audio performances in Europe and South America since 2016.

Her music absorbs the audience and invites them on an inward journey where reality is perceived and transformed through sound. Beside her engagements as a composer, her work span over events like showcases for Moog, workshop and live set for art collectives and a/v performance with dance and reactive visuals at festivals.

Emme also works as head of sound in a Berlin club, technician for events and festivals, as mastering engineer for ambient/experimental music and curator/producer of cultural events.

Samaquias Lorta

Samaquias Lorta is an interdisciplinary artist working on mental health and ecological thinking. In his work, he often draws on how the use of technology and DIY performance techniques can provide insightful insights or solutions. Although he often devises visual components, the central aspect of his practice is sound performance and design. He uses sound to explore both fine details and larger contexts, seamlessly telling stories through audio.
Samaquias Lorta uses various immersive technologies to create interactive live performances. He uses motion detection tools to create audio assets through the movement of performers. His binaural work for the Soundwalk at Berlin’s Herzberg Museum takes the audience through the history and narratives of a historic hospital.

Samaquias Lorta never misses an opportunity to network creatively. This has resulted in numerous co-productions with support from Amplify Berlin, Eufonia Festival, Catalyst Institute, HZT Berlin and others. His educational background includes cello performance and music composition at Boise State University. In 2020, he completed his Bachelor’s degree in Electronic Music Production and Performance at Catalyst Institute. His education has strengthened the ideas of storytelling and creative design that inform his current explorations.

Veronika Bachfischer

Veronika Bachfischer is an actress and speaker. Born in Augsburg, she studied philosophy in Vienna and acting at the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen. She has been a member of the ensemble at the Schaubühne Berlin since 2016. In the same year, she was awarded the Golden Fan and received an invitation to the Theatertreffen Berlin with “Stolpersteine Staatstheater” (director: Hans-Werner Kroesinger). Her monologue version of “Erinnerung eines Mädchens” by Annie Ernaux (director: Sarah Kohm), for which she appeared as co-author, has been running with great success at the Schaubühne Berlin since its premiere in 2022. In addition to her work in the theatre, she regularly works as a speaker for radio and readings and can be seen in film and television.

Veronika Bachfischer © Meike Kenn


Ossagrosse (b.1995) is an Italian artist who navigates the world of art with a distinctive perspective—they ‘fish’ for ideas in what they fondly refer to as ‘the new collective consciousness pool’. Their work spans across still images and videos made in collaboration with AI. Ossagrosse uses recurring visual elements to create a body of work in which every piece is part of an overarching narrative. With to a background in visuals and sound given by the MSVM course at Catalyst Berlin, the video works show a combination of AI and traditional techniques, pushing the boundaries of the practice. Their work has appeared on Red Eye, Fisheye, Artribune, Les Inrockuptibles and in the book Spells:Pioneers by Max Kuwertz. Ossagrosse is currently part of, a roster of artists coordinated by Alejandro Cartagena who curated, alongside the artist Niceaunties, Ossagrosse’s collection called “Downscale”, as part of the group exhibition Post Photographic Perspectives III. “Ossa” is currently living in Berlin.

RSB evening cast

Violine 1

Wolters, Rainer
Yoshikawa, Kosuke
Bondas, Marina
Beckert, Philipp
Drechsel, Franziska
Tast, Steffen
Morgunowa, Anna
Feltz, Anne
Polle, Richard
Yamada, Misa
Oleseiuk, Oleksandr
Scilla, Giulia
Leung, Jonatha
Gullier, Antoine

Violine 2

Contini, Nadine
Seidel, Anne-Kathrin
Draganov, Brigitte
Eßmann, Martin
Buczkowski, Maciej
Manyak, Juliane
Hetzel de Fonseka, Neela
Bara-Rast, Ania
Palascino, Enrico
Vatseba, Vasy
Romano, Diego
Granovskaya, Irina


Rinecker, Lydia
Adrion, Gernot
Silber, Christiane
Markowski, Emilia
Doubovikov, Alexey
Drop, Jana
Montes, Carolina
Inoue, Yugo
Yoo, Hyelim
Kantas, Dilhan


Hakhnazaryan, Mikhael
Riemke, Ringela
Weiche, Volkmar
Weigle, Andreas
Bard, Christian
Kipp, Andreas
Paetsch, Raphaela
Montoux-Mie, Romane


Wagner, Marvin
Figueiredo, Pedro
Schwärsky, Georg
Ahrens, Iris
Gazale, Nhassim
Moon, Junha



Hasel, Michael
Döbler, Rudolf
Wassermeyer, Henrike


Fernanda Hernandez, Maria
Grube, Florian
Vogler, Gudrun


Elßner, Karola


Link, Oliver
Korn, Christoph
Simpfendörfer, Florentine


You, Sung Kwon
Voigt, Alexander
Königstedt, Clemens


Kühner, Martin
Holjewilken, Uwe
Stephan, Frank
Hetzel de Fonseka, Felix


Linke, Sören
Ranch, Lars
Niemand, Jörg


Manyak, Edgar
Hauer, Dominik
Lehmann, Jörg


Neckermann, Fabian


Edenwald, Maud


Thiersch, Konstantin
Ruppert, Rüdiger
Tummes, Daniel
Azers, Juris
Trimolt, Sebastian


Eschenburg, Jakob


Croatto, Julian


Syperek, Markus
von Radowitz, Florian


Tsiachris, Nikolaos
Santorsa, Ruben Mattia

In Cooperation with


Photo credits

Portrait Veronika Bachfischer © Meike Kenn
Portrait tauchgold © Anke-Beims
Pictures Jonathan Stockhammer © Peter Meisel
Portrait Tom Zips © Tom Zips