Schwarz auf Weiß
Musiktheaterwerk von Heiner Goebbels
The Frankfurt-based composer Heiner Goebbels seems to have written his musical theatre piece ›Schwarz auf Weiss‹ (Black on White) especially for the Ensemble Modern. The protagonist is the collective of the Ensemble itself. The 18 musicians act simultaneously as presenters and musicians, conquering the stage. Tennis balls bounce onto a large drum, gentle koto sounds can be heard, a kettle hisses to a complex flute melody. The musicians do not only play their own instruments but also group together to form a wind ensemble for example, arousing associations with an Italian banda. The scenes and events of the piece follow on from one another without interruption and the lighting, ingeniously created by Jean Kalman, produces its own dramaturgy. Again and again we hear a recording of Heiner Müller's voice reading Edgar Allan Poe's ›Shadow - A Parable‹.
›Schwarz auf Weiss‹ is, after all, a reflection on writing and the absent author as an image of a collective memory. For Goebbels, the work is »a kind of farewell to Heiner Müller« – but one that is full of humour, lightness and charm.