N. U. Unruh
With a style that blurred the boundaries of music and noise, the Berlin-based band Einstürzende Neubauten launched an assault on all conventional listening habits in the early 1980s. Since then, their sound has become more quiet and melodic, while retaining its authenticity and personality. For the festivities commemorating the centenary of the beginning of World War I four years ago, the Belgian city of Diksmuide commissioned the band to compose a performance piece that combines a variety of elements. Lament, which adds a string ensemble to the band’s usual instruments of steel, voice, and objets trouvés, includes voice recordings of prisoners of war and marching songs from the early 20th century side by side with a motet by Flemish Renaissance composer Clemens non Papa and Pete Seeger’s Where Have All the Flowers Gone. The result is a deeply moving, highly acclaimed memorial against violence and horror that seems more relevant than ever today. One hundred years after the end of the war, Lament can be seen and heard live one last time for three performances only at the Pierre Boulez Saal.
For these performances, Einstürzende Neubauten are joined by Felix Gebhard (keyboards) and Jan T. Schade (leader string ensemble).