Photo: Martin Becker


Composition Commission issued to Johannes Boris Borowski

Zafraan Ensemble e.V., Berlin, Germany


Ikarus-Stories is the new 90-minute piece of musical theater for soprano, baritone, ensemble and electronics by Johannes Boris Borowski. It has been commissioned by the Zafraan Ensemble with the support of the EvS Music Foundation. The work transcends the borders of a usual concert event. The music becomes a dramatic and theatrical experience pushing these boundaries by markedly moving away from the original intention of representation to thereby establish a new mystery factor. "Ikarus-Stories" uses a modus operandi to develop in close exchange between the composer and the performer.

Taking theories of tragedy and the current political and social climate as his points of departure Borowski boldly attempts to blur musical and artistic boundaries. Research for the piece began with the almost daily occurring, celebrated, violent transgressions in society. This is not just about analyzing the social upheaval of a specific nation (in the case of the Germans) but about fundamental human speech and behavior patterns. Music, musical staging, intrinsic musical references to emotional worlds at the abyss, the sudden uncanny presence of the musicians – all this leads, like in the chorus of Greek tragedy, to the neutralizing of the individual and its incorporation via subliminal impulses into the monstrous. Contrasting with this are small actions and stories. Here, the individual takes action and snaps the audience back into reality. Patterns of everyday language are shown in all their severity. In the end, all this forms a dense, interwoven network, which opens up a broad horizon of reception, experience and interpretation possibilities.

February 2020
Radialsystem V, Berlin, Germany
Gare du Nord, Basel, Switzerland

October 2020
Radialsystem V, Berlin, Germany


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