Monkeys Birds And Gods – Workshop – Berlin, Germany

Download the song – click here

Saturday , October 11th – Theaterhaus, Berlin: a half day Human Sound workshop presented by “Tagtraum – Daydreamers” where a group of participants from around Berlin gathered to create a ritual song. We moved, we sounded, we shared stories and we sang ourselves into a ritual frenzy… but at the end of the day we all lay silently on the floor in serene stillness – a great way to end.

Through building a safe space where we could express our total selves: our bodies, our voices and our stories, we opened the door to the music – it simply flowed organically… and this is how it happened in my experience:

Vega opened the first part of the workshop with an introduction to Contact Improvisation – we learned to roll, fall, and be upside down, in contact with eachother. We released ourselves into the natural flow of movement that comes when our bodies are in contact with eachother.

Feeling our bodies connected and comfortable together through the experience of contact improvisation, Rainer then led us in Vocal Improvisation – we freely moved around the room and coming into contact with each other both as individuals and groups; our task was to simply express this experience of contact through sound. So many vocal improvisation pieces created on the spot! By this point, we were free to express ourselves through movement and our voices.

Following on from Rainer, I (Simon), led the group in a storytelling and lyric writing process. The group shared stories about moments in their life where they felt liberated through voice and or body work. We heard a wonderful range of stories and I believe the chorus of the song captures the essence of the group’s experience:

“opening ourselves to play, coming back to where we belong”

The final part of the workshop was an all out jam! Using all the skills and freedom of expression that had come so far, and our lyrics as inspiration, we freely sounded and moved:
tambourines clashed, small and large groups made sounds and danced in circles. As a group we sang the lyrics that were created from the words of the groups’ stories and finally two individuals from the group took the lead on the first and third verses.

I captured these sounds and sliced them up to create the final song and composition. I did take a little artistic liberty by adding some electronic beats to the music but nonetheless think the song really captures the atmosphere of the tribe that were reunited on that day.

This was the first and hopefully not the last workshop that Rainer, Vega and I will facilitate together; on reflection there is still much to be learned about the process in terms of the order and sequence of the workshop to make it flow even better, but I think if this was our first time then we are off to a great start.

Thank you to all the participants who took part in the workshop, to Tagtraum – Daydreamers including Rainer and Vega for facilitating and making it happen and a special thanks to Maxim Piz for doing the final mix and master of this song!

Also thank you to Marianne Kalinowski for photographing and Fabian Brennecke for shooting video.

For more info on Maxim’s excellent work checkout his facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/soundpolish

VIDEO: COMING SOON!

Some Photos:

Photography by Marianne Kalinowski

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