FIVE SONGS, ONE END

Hajnal Németh, “Five Songs, One End”, 2021, performance for five singers, at the opening of the exhibition “Thomas Schmit Retrosektive”, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k), 2021
In the picture: Fama M’Boup
Photo by n.b.k. / Krisztina Turna 

Performance for five singers presented at the opening of the exhibition “Thomas Schmit Retrosektive” at Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k) in 2021.

Performed by Tobias Christl, Júlia Koffler, Erik Leuthäuser, Fama M’Boup and Dora Osterloh

In her ongoing collaborations with singers, choirs, and actors, Németh shows how contexts can be arbitrarily constructed and then dissected again. In her exploration of Tomas Schmit’s work, she has explicitly based her interpretations on pieces that declare the principle of chance to be the measure of meaning or which destabilize the perception of time and duration in a conceptual inversion. 

The idea of “Five Songs, One End” (2021) by Hajnal Németh is based on a brief instruction forming the score of Tomas Schmit’s piece “Two Compositions to Justify a Performance” (1964). The adaptation, however, departs significantly from the original concept.

The original instruction reads as follows: At the beginning of a performance announce: “END!”, and at the end: “NOW IT STARTS AGAIN!” In Németh’s interpretation, the ending is an improvisatory process filling the duration of the performance, in which five singers repeat the last line of five songs continuously and in different variations.

The score of the piece is as follows: five singers perform the last lines of five well-known songs several times in sequence, with pauses of different lengths, in any order or variation. The singers may build up their repertoire independently, including the endings of all five songs, or they may repeat the endings of a single song. Sometimes they have to take a break between singing, which can be from 2 to 20 seconds. The total length of the piece should be between 15 and 20 minutes. The rhythm of the singing of the song ends can be developed together or separately, and the structure of the piece can be structured following a system or as an improvisation. For joint improvisations, mutual attention and a kind of action-reaction dynamic are required. The key is the play of variations, coincidences, singing in synchrony or asynchrony and silences. 

Hajnal Németh, “Five Songs, One End”, 2021, performance for five singers, at the opening of the exhibition “Thomas Schmit Retrosektive”, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k), 2021
Performed by: Tobias Christl, Júlia Koffler, Erik Leuthäuser, Fama M’Boup and Dora Osterloh
Photos by n.b.k. / Krisztina Turna 

Hajnal Németh, “Five Songs, One End”, 2021
Performance for five singers, approx. 15 min
Based on Tomas Schmit, “Two Compositions to Justify a Performance” (#25), 1964
Performed by: Tobias Christl, Júlia Koffler, Erik Leuthäuser, Fama M’Boup and Dora Osterloh
Presented at the opening of the exhibition “Thomas Schmit Retrosektive” 
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k), 2021