11 Straßenmusiker spielen „DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE“ die Nationalhymne

 

From June to July 2009, I spent three weeks in Berlin inviting street musicians to take part in a performance-based video work, 11 Straßenmusiker spielen „DEM DEUTSCHEN VOLKE“ die Nationalhymne, 2009. Drawing off of the history of the Deutsche Nationalhymne, I wanted to create a conversation about nationalism and German-ness in present day Berlin. Each musician was provided with historical background on the subject, along with a CD containing variations on the Nationalhymne, sheet music, and the details about my project. As a collaborative piece, the group was comprised of various individual musicians and bands, with different backgrounds, skill levels and nationalities. It was an open invitation, and there was no selection process with regard to who could participate– the only requirement was that they lived in Berlin at present. Recruiting off the street also led to recruiting via online forums. Over 50 musicians were invited, however only 11 chose to participate. On July 5th, 2009, the musicians met in front of the Reichstag, and, for the first time, played the Deutsche Nationalhymne together.