... kueche, diele, bad ... 

mp4 - 69 MB  for quicktime

… kitchen, hall, bathroom …

Twelve flats in the house of Europe

Video-music-installation by Thomas Witzmann

For three quartets and three video-beamers


  Worldpremiere: 2009 May 24th, Ensemblia 2009, Mönchengladbach

more performances:

2009 June 24/25/26, Halle Kalk, Cologne 


with 12 live-musicians:
2 fl, bcl, 3 tbn, 3 perc, vl, vla, vcl


supported by:

 supported by:

Sparkasse KölnBonn and City of Cologne





Is it, in view of the global and permanent availability of information of any kind, still possible or indeed more necessary than ever to withdraw into oneself?

Usually travellers take holiday photos back home from their journeys. In this project the audience is confronted with impressions of the flats of the twelve musicians, who travelled there from the whole of Europe, filmed and cut by the composer. Ordinary things like tables and chairs, handles of doors and windows, water taps and sinks are arranged within an aesthetic context. Routine domestic tasks like washing one’s hands, slicing and spreading bread, doing the dishes and hoovering are made rhythmic and musical. Lights, doors and windows reveal their metaphysical qualities. The flat’s specific aura is questioned with regard to the design’s history, with concentration on the individual characteristics as well as those typical for the respective nation. The variety and the common grounds of European (residential) culture can be heard and seen with exemplary clarity within this microcosm: in hard cuts, extremely subjectively exposed. It is not given away, though, who lives where.

Is there really such a thing as the Greek carpet, the French wardrobe, the Dutch window, the Swedish table, the British WC, the German chair, the Spanish lamp, the Polish duvet, the Italian kitchen … ?

From time to time a crucial character shows up in the video, the eternal visitor of her widely branched progeny the first mother of the continent, the mythological figure with her migration background: Europa. Presented by a Turkish actress, she sets (like every home-visitor) the tone, draws attention to herself, and decides what is to be done. She visits unexpectedly and tells once more her well-known legends (Homer, Ovid, Heiner Müller …) – with a divergent variety of interpretations between violent abduction, opera-like performance and hedonistic seduction.
Typically she acts rather strangely, but also disappears again – a classical foreign body (or alien element).
The three films are simultaneously projected on three screens positioned before the audience on the left, in the center and on the right.
The musicians are stationed as three nearly identical quartets (woodwind instruments and strings as well as trombone and percussion) between the screens and - like a fourth wall – behind the audience.
The compositon of this chamber music is very intimate in character as a result of the intense form of preliminary analysis and a mutual exchange of ideas. The live music absorbs, varies and contrasts with the structured, rather private sounds of the original Video soundtrack composed of the clattering of kitchenware, the roaring and splashing of water taps, showers and toilets, the shoving of chairs and the slamming of doors to the polyphonic concert of bells and rings.

The flat itself sings, moans and dances.

Cross-border flat viewing from unusual perspectives.

A musical Home-video: A triptychon of usual European everyday life.




… kitchen, hall, bathroom …


2 fl, bcl, 3 tbn, 3 perc,  vl, vla, vcl,    3 video-beamer
ca. 90'
2009 May 24th, Ensemblia 2009, Mönchengladbach
2009 June 24/25/26, Halle Kalk, Schauspiel Köln
played by   

2 fl:      Cecilie Løken                  Åkersberga / Sweden       Norway

            Alessandra Rombolá       Madrid /  Spain               Italy

bcl:        Petra Stump                  Götzis (Vorarlberg)            Austia

3 tbn:    Katarzyna Kuchnicka            Poznań                        Poland

            John Kenny                    Edinburgh                        Great Britain

            Ivo Nilsson                    Stockholm                        Sweden

3 perc:   Arnold Marinissen          Amsterdam                       The Netherlands

            Thomas Meixner            Cologne                                Germany

            Lê Quan Ninh                 Saint-Silvain-sous-Toulx     France
vl:         Cécile Broché                Brussels                           Belgium

vla:       Charlotte Hug                Zurich                             Schweiz

vcl:       Nikos Veliotis                 Athens                            Griechenland

video-actress ("Europa"): Günfer Çölgeçen