Media

Extracts from the
musical work.

SONATA

To go on search for, collecting inspiration of one´s own environment, new discoveries and connecting it to the familiar – as if you collect seashells on a beach and include them into your own play. John Cage demonstrated with his own works how to invent new musical landscapes and being open to the unknown. For his „Sonatas and Interludes“ he rebuilt grand pianos and incorporated bolts, screws and pieces of rubber – and enabled a futuristic audio experience.

In the black white short film „SONATA“ of 2017 Claudia Janet Birkholz plays a composition by John Cage – and charges the music with strong images to support the audio journey. First of all it seems like a psycho thriller but it offers a surprising twist producing an excitement until the end. For the short film by Christine Jezior, Claudia Janet Birkholz designed the costumes and is in front of the camera herself. An impressive work being accepted globally, for example at film festivals in Switzerland, Belgium, the US, Great Britain, Greece as well as Sweden, India, Argentina and in Germany.

Crew

DirectorChristine Jezior
Screenplay Christine Jezior
Producer Christine Jezior, MAAM TV
Director of Photography Bartosz Bialobrzeski
Costume Design Claudia Janet Birkholz
Sound Matthias Nordhorn
Editor Bartosz Bialobrzeski
Sound Design Matthias Nordhorn
Music John Cage

 

Cast

Claudia Janet Birkholz  

ACTING

The short film „Acting“ was evolved in 2018 and brings a key issue of our time into focus: self optimisation. Surrounded by portraits of perfection, shallow illusions of alleged necessities, a better version of the ego appears accessible within close proximity – if you only make an effort. A never ending pursuit for a perfect illusion of an ideal life, not accepting weaknesses, no time for calm, no contentment for the pure existence.

The gym is a place where we work out on our physical appearance. Here we are surrounded by machines whose sounds we rarely perceive.

These sounds of everyday life Claudia Janet Birkholz processed to an energetic piece of music.

In collaboration with Julina Nishimine she designed the screenplay and the costumes. In this way, an artful sequence of words, noise and sounds is created, claiming discipline and further development, either in sports or in the musical play. Finally a glimpse into unknown windows showing: It´s still not enough.

A film just like a rush and a drastic projection of our time, being part of the Official Selection at film festivals and awarded in Great Britain, Venezuela, India, Turkey, Brazil and Germany among other countries.

Crew

Director Christine Jezior
Screenplay Claudia Birkholz und Julina Nishimine
Producer Christine Jezior
Director of Photography Bartosz Bialobrzeski
Costume Design Claudia Birkholz und Julina Nishimine
Sound Matthias Nordhorn
Editor Bartosz Bialobrzeski
Sound Design Matthias Nordhorn
Music Claudia Birkholz

Cast

Woman Claudia Janet Birkholz
Gym trainer Jacek Kapturek
Green girl Nico Seemann
Red girl Julina Nishimine

LUZIFERS DREAM

The piano piece XIII „LUZIFERS DREAM“ was composed by Karlheinz Stockhausen in 1981 as part of his opera “Saturday”. Here the focus is on Luzifer but not as a devil but as a fallen angel, as an idealistic thinker and antagonist of all human.

He dreams the piano piece XIII, that evokes the five elements. 

„LUIZIFERS DREAM“ or piano piece XIII by Karlheinz Stockhausen is one of the most impressing solo pieces for the piano of the 20th century.

Luzifer dreams a piano piece, a virtuous magic spell with an overwhelming attraction, embedded in images of surrealism. The exceptional piano player Claudia Janet Birkholz fabricates a firework of sounds and activities which are completed by rockets being shot out of the grand piano.

For this piece light artist Katrin Bethge sketched the colourful light installations, acting like a mirror to the music – for Stockhausen did not only code the music with his formula but contributed emotions, planets and colours to it.

On Saturday, when Lucifer dreams the “Piano Piece XIII”, it is the colour “ice blue black”. The piece should be performed “like a magic spell”.

Songs on Spotify

Listen to Claudia Janet Birkholz on Spotify – experience New Music. Experience music in a new way

John Cage: Sonatas and Interludes

3C , piano pieces by Cage, Cowell and Crumb

On this album Claudia Janet Birkholz dedicated herself to the work of three US American composers of the 20th century.

Henry Cowell was one of the first composers in the 20th century playing the grand piano not only on the keys but on the strings in the interior of the grand piano. The sounds created in this way still seem futuristic to us today. The works performed here were written between 1914 and 1928.

George Crumb is one of the few great composers, being consequent in discovering new playing techniques and new sounds for the grand piano and inside of it and who composed numerous works for these fascinating techniques. The „Makrokosmos I“, was developed in 1972, and depicts one of .these crucial pieces.

The „Suite for Toy-Piano“ of 1978 by John Cage is the first ever piece being composed for the toy piano.

In the Watermusic of 1952 John Cage uses coincidental elements like a radio transmitter or water bowls, a duck whistle, a deck of cards and a siren for his composition.

Ottes Klänge (Hans Otte)

In his long lasting work Hans Otte, composer and musical director of ARD, turned Hansestadt Bremen into one of the first addresses for New Music in Germany. A long time friendship connected him to Claudia Janet Birkholz. She was his preferred performer of his musical pieces. Otte attested to her “a great sense of sound and a convincing creative ability at all levels”. The „Buch der Klänge“, that was created between 1979 and 1982, was completed with the following dedication by Hans Otte:

Those who want to be really close to the sounds,

who want to seek for the sound of sounds,

who seek the secret of all life,

sounding oneself, to find

oneself, to experience 

Entführung um acht (Bruno Strobl)

The toy piano is a toy piano with metal sticks instead of strings. John Cage was the first composer, composing a musical piece for this instrument in 1948, it was the „Suite for toy-piano“. Only a few decades later other composers followed. In the meantime, there is a number of compositions for this small, quirky-sounding instrument. Bruno Strobl composed „Entführung um VIII“ for Claudia Janet Birkholz in 2009.

Compositions by Claudia Janet Birkholz

In her compositions Claudia Janet Birkholz keeps on dealing with sonic opportunities of the grand piano. The discovery of new sounds, bringing them into a musical context is a fascination for her. If marble sounds on the descant string or the sound of printing machines, car wash facilities, coffee machines or sports equipment, In this way she always develops an unexpected soundscape.

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