Wax and Gold | Poetry Jazz

Workshop and Performance

Addis Ababa, 2018

A Production of Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin, in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste, Berlin and Tobiya Poetic Jazz, Addis Ababa

With Frezer Admasu (poet, Addis Ababa), Eric Ellingsen (poet, St. Louis), Clara Jo (camera, Berlin), Mihret Kebede (poet, Addis Ababa), Robert Lippok (electronic music, Berlin), Nebiy Mekonnen (poet, Addis Ababa), Neo Muyanga (guitar, vocals; Cape Town), Jorga Mesfin (saxophon, piano; Addis Ababa), Tasew Wendem Mose (washint flute, vocals; Addis Ababa), Solomon Sahle (poet, Addis Ababa), Rike Scheffler (poet, Berlin), Rediet Terefe (poet, Addis Ababa), Misrak Terefe (poet, Addis Ababa), Christina Werner (coordination, Berlin), Meheret Zelleke (translator, Addis Ababa).

Participants translate poems from Amharic into English, German and vice versa. These direct exchanges enabled the intensive discussion of stylistic contexts, cultural connotations, poetic traditions and compositional processes. The poets take direct part in the translation of their own poems with emphasis on speech and intonation in order to hear his/her work in the source language and target language. In further processes texts are developed into resonant poems and thereby transmitted into other historical or geopolitical contexts and, through conversation, newly developed in another language as a response or reaction. Rhythm, intonation, music performance and improvisation are interwoven through collaborative working processes. Musically, the experimentations manifest through traditional Ethiopian pentatonic music, jazz influences and modern electronic music elements.

This event is part of the poetry series “Poetry Jazz: Wax and Honey, I’m Home” by the Institut für Raumexperimente, Berlin; in cooperation with the Akademie der Künste, Berlin; in dialogue with Tobiya Poetic Jazz, Addis Ababa; choreographed by Christina Werner; supported by the Studio Olafur Eliasson, Berlin; Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago; Co-financing Fund of the Senate Department for Culture and Europe, Berlin

Video still images: Clara Jo