Berlin’s famed nightlife is still shut down until further notice, but Berghain has found a way to reopen its doors once more: socially-distanced listening parties. And the best news for some could be that its notoriously picky bouncers will not be working the door!
That’s right, the world-renowned techno institution that is Berghain is welcoming people once again, but it’s for different kind of events. With just 50 people allowed in at a time, in order to maintain safe social distance measures, the Friedrichshain venue will host listening events featuring “surreal soundscape of rhythmic throbbing, soft city noises, murmurings and even the whirling of helicopter blades.”
“You listen, you experience, you can close your eyes or leave them open and follow the sound across the room,” said Carsten Seiffarth, co-curator of the Singuhr projects, a platform that organises sound art installations.
The planned show, known as “Eleven songs — Hall at Berghain” is the fruit of artistic duo Sam Auinger and Hannes Strobl
The experience is specifically curated for Berghain’s Kessel Hall, an acoustic experience “for and with the space” — a concrete, high-ceilinged former machine hall located behind the main club rooms that are usually filled with techno revellers all weekend long deep into daytime on Monday.
“The room itself is a kind of instrument to them,” fellow curator Markus Steffens said, where the sound interacts with the architecture to create different listening experiences.
This project was not conceived during pandemic times, but has been a long-time coming and well before Germany went into lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19. This has meant re-evaluating how the project would be presented to the public within the confines of a nightclub, one of the few institutions and businesses that must remain closed even though many of the country’s restrictions have been lifted in recent months as a result of a flattened COVID-19 curve.
Organisers of “Eleven songs — Hall at Berghain” feared low attendance at first, prompted by fears related to the virus. “We didn’t really know what was going to happen. What if no one came because they were afraid of getting infected?” said Seiffarth.
His fears proved to be untrue, as visitors began queuing up wearing face masks, and then comfortably sitting apart from one another across the vast hall inside. The room’s large windows are kept open, allowing for fresh air to permeate and move through the room, also minimizing risk of infection.
“Here, you can be with other people,” Seiffarth said.
“It’s also about having an experience with this room and feeling emotions that go beyond just listening.”
With Berghain reopen with this format, will other clubs follow suit?
H/T: Yahoo! News