SILENT SONGS into the wild


A stranger I arrived here…
What means this stirring? Does the east wind bring me good news?
I am used to going astray, Every path leads to one goal…

Franz Schubert’s Lieder are about wandering and departure, about everlasting disaffection and loneliness. What would it mean in a time of mass migration to approach these texts and lieder with all our senses?

How much courage is needed to leave oneself exposed to the deeply embedded and strong emotions, the upheaval of feelings, of pain and loss, longing and love, revenge and hope? Have these feelings changed in the 21st century? How does music escape the body and how do emotions find manifestation in an auditory experience?

For String Quartet, 4 Singers, 3 Performers, Piano and E-Guitar

In ‘SILENT SONGS into the wild’ singers, musicians and dancers embark on a journey through the world of classical song discovering them anew in the here and now. They are not limited to their voice but utilize their whole personalities and their complete range and repertoire of emotions and movement. Within the tension field of intimacy and outburst, past and present, they develop new vocal and corporal forms of interpretation, finding their own avenues to these once popular songs.

Going forth with great respect for the original pieces the questions are asked: What happens when a song succumbs to the free will of the singer? Might the aria end in laughter? In apathy? In sobbing? In Arabic lament songs? In Jazz? How do contemporary audiences experience Schubert’s songs? Enticing, touching, artificial or estranged? Maybe highly topical? How can our present desires and life attitudes find reflection in these works? In a dialog between performers, a string quartet, a pianist and an e-guitar player these questions will manifest in a range of different sonic and visual variations.

A first research project took place in October of 2015 together with vocal students from the Theaterakademie August Everding.


Songs from the cycles “Schwanengesang”, “Winterreise” and “Die Schöne Müllerin” as well as other Schubert songs are interwoven over the course of the evening revealing a surprising and unknown cycle. Scenic moods grow from between the Lieder - topical societal references through musical association. Set into motion, the Navigators react like a seismograph to Schubert’s Lieder.



A production by Nico and the Navigators and BOZAR Brussels. Coproduced by the Niedersächsischen Musiktage as well as the Konzerthaus Berlin. In cooperation with the Elbphilharmonie. Funded by the German Federal Cultural Foundation, the Rusch Foundation and by the Land of Berlin.

© 2011-2016 Nico and the Navigators