Who’d have thought that snow falls

Matthias Schönijahn

Video-chor-sound installation, 80 minutes

Three large-format screens hang like windows in empty space. On them are pictures – of landscapes from the Luhansk region and Ukrainian women. Their songs alternate with a choir that interacts with them live and in dialogue. But although they are separated from each other by time and space, the impression arises of a strong connection between the two places. This production investigates the effect of voice. How are traumas written in a voice passed down through generations? This performative installation is not only a touching experience of sound and image but can also be understood as a time capsule for future generations.

Matthias Schönijahn works in the fields of visual arts, film, music theatre and performance. Building on “deep listening”, he creates atmospheric videos and installations that combine documentary material, sound and performance. In the spring of 2021, he travelled with a German-Polish-Ukrainian team to the north of the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk to meet with singing collectives. The resulting video, vocal and field recordings form the basis for Who'd have thought that snow falls. A Berlin choir of amateur singers acts as a link between the audio-visual installation and the room under the direction of Paulina Miu Kühling. The resulting live songs are in turn combined with videos through the ambient compositions of Berlin-based sound artist Martyna Poznańska.

Supported by Hauptstadtkulturfonds, Fonds Darstellende Künste

Artistic direction, camera, stage design, direction Matthias Schönijahn Live choir Ewa Brokos, Agnieszka Bułacik, Claudia Eckstein, Mina Djordjević, Katharina Fischer, Ola Zielińska, Julia Legezynska, Joana Katarzyna Pietras, Agnieszka Kucharska, Natalia Latecka Film choir Lyudmyla Shulyak, Petro Chepelukha, Valentyna Derkach, Lyudmyla Horshkova, Oksana Hutnyeva, Lyudmyla Ilarionova, Tetyana Kandyba, Yuriy Kuznetsov, Yuriy Maksymenko, Anna Nevidoma, Nataliya Shepilova, Oleh Volkov, Tetyana Zaytseva, Ol’ha Bushlya, Lyubov Molochkova, Mariya Sahradova, Zinayida Skovorodka, Kateryna Tkachenko, Tetyana Hrabchuk, Lyubov Kornienko, Rayisa Shuhaylo, Svitlana Konovalova Composition, sound design Martyna Poznańska, Johannes van Bebber Choir direction, composition choir Paulina Miu Kühling Dramaturgy, choreographic collaboration Rose Beermann Dramaturgy video Ljupcho Temelkovski Light design Maika Knoblich Video editing, sound, technical realisation Johannes Plank Costumes Ewa Brokos Scientific consulting Vlada Rusina Artistic assistance, translation Tereza Yakovyna Production management Birgit Voigt Production management Ukraine Valera Zherih Photos Stefanie Kulisch

Kindly supported by SBG Veranstaltungsservice GmbH

Sponsored by the NATIONALE PERFORMANCE NETZ, Guest Performance Fund for Theatre, which is funded by Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, the Ministries of Culture and the Arts of the German Länder


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Who’d have thought that snow falls
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Fekete Seretlek – Czech Republic
KAMA Orchestra – Germany



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