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2023 EURYDIKE? vol. 2 


for three female dancers + violin soloist + three accordion soloists + 2channel video + 10.2-channel audio

with the participation of male prisoners of the prisons of Dresden and Bautzen

and the choir of the prison of Dresden

idea + composition + SignMimoChoreography + direction + camera: Helmut Oehring

audio+video production + sound direction + film editing: Torsten Ottersberg / GOGH smp

text book + dramaturgy + photography: Stefanie Wördemann

dancers / vocalists: Katja Erfurth + Mia Carla Oehring + Kassandra Wedel

violin soloist / vocalist: Florian Mayer

accordion soloists / vocalists: Felix Kroll + Silke Lange + Susanne Stock

performer / vocalist: Joscha Oehring

singer + choir: male prisoners / choir of the prison Dresden

duration: 54'


composition commissioned by the European Center for the Arts HELLERAU,

financed by the Ernst von Siemens Music Foundation, funded by the Federal Cultural Foundation

world premiere 2023 Europen Centre of The Arts HELLERAU Dresden

EURYDIKE?vol. 2_Filmstill2.jpg

EURYDIKE? vol. 2 is based on the DNA of the audiovisual score and SignMimoChoreography: Interaction between the soloists' instrumental-vocal-dance interpretation, experimental camera work and editing composition generates silenced images and tinged sounds. RidgeWalk between the StillSpeakable and the NoLongerVoiced. The multidimensional grammar of space creates a through-time-grasping, poetic-documentary theater past the sound of silence. DeadMemory. Requiem. AnswerBurden of the survivors. On twelve loudspeakers hanging above the installation room and two projection surfaces between which the audience moves, EURYDIKE? vol. 2 reflects existences between victim and perpetrator, revenge and remorse, attempt and failure, utopia and surrender, social and media isolation. SecretStature of the neardistant Other. UnderWorldSore. Entropy.

2022 zwischenORT

About the no more existing Albert-Theatre

AudioVideoInstallation for violin + dance choreography

composition + camera + direction: Helmut Oehring

audio/videoproduktion: Torsten Ottersberg / GOGH s.m.p.

artistic direction + Choreography + dance : Katja Erfurth

duration: 12'


world premiere March 2022 Societaetstheater Dresden

Katja Erfurth + Florian Mayer

2021 BEETHOVEN? The redemptive fault


idea + composition + choreography + direction + camera + cut: Helmut Oehring

textbook + filmscript + dramaturgy + edition: Stefanie Wördemann

audio+video-produktion + camera + cut: Torsten Ottersberg / GOGH s.m.p.

with: Kassandra Wedel + Ensemble Musikfabrik

duration: 45'


Commissioned by Beethoven Anniversary Society Bonn

world release 2022 bthvn2020 / WDR3


"Speak louder, cry out, for I am deaf!" Ludwig van Beethoven's cries for help remain silent letters in the Heilgenstadt Testament and in other letters to trusted companions. At the age of 32, he looks death in the eye while writing and then fights his way to immortality by composing for another quarter of a century. Beethoven's successive deafness in connection with his self-image as a composer and fellow human being is at the center of the music-film-dance drama BEETHOVEN? The redemptive fault. In his own film version of his audiovisual score consisting of new composition and radio play, quotes from letters and sign language poetry, interacting choreography of dance and film, Helmut Oehring encrypts Beethoven's inscriptions and gives him back his innermost secret: a genius condemned to inner hearing, who forcibly forces himself to express himself creatively and uses his music to build a bridge to the hearing world, whose social and artistic future lies close to his wounded heart. Beethoven, a bridge-man - in between.

Also a bridge-person is dancer Kassandra Wedel, who went deaf in an accident at the age of four, after acquiring the language. In BEETHOVEN? The redemptive fault she embodies Beethoven's "immortal beloved" as well as his inner voice and physical medium of his language and music in the process of deafness, his creative work in growing isolation,  loneliness, despair, longing: "Where am I not wounded, cut?"

Helmut Oehring also sees himself as a bridge person: a child of deaf parents (CODA), he describes German sign language as his mother tongue, whose spatial syntax and grammar is one of the foundations of his audiovisual scores, choreographies, audio pieces and films: "Through my socialization in the language and culture of deaf people, I grew up with people who were deaf before birth or after acquiring the language, but also with people who suddenly or gradually lost their hearing due to a stroke of fate. I am familiar with the communicative, psychological and social strategies of deaf people in a hearing world. We hearing people cannot imagine what Beethoven's deafness meant and resulted in for him as a person and composer, regardless of the learning or loss of various communication mechanisms and tactics. This is a dimension of silence that we hearing people cannot even fathom. And from this silence, Beethoven slips a kind of photograph of his inner score under the crack in the door from his unheard-of cosmos of sound into our world full of loudness and noise."

2013/2017/2021 SEVEN SONGS for Sunrise
live silent film music on FW Murnau's silent film Sunrise. Song for Two Humans from 1927

audio conception + production: Torsten Ottersberg/GOGH 

duration: 95'


version for vocalist + octet + pre-recorded tapes

world premiere 2013 Le Capitole Lausanne / IRCAM Center Pompidou Paris / Archipel Festival Genève

David Moss + Le Quatuor Sine Nomine

musical direction: Jürg Henneberger

version for voice/signchoreography/guitar + flutes + violoncello + accordion + guitar + piano/keyboard + drums 

world premiere 2021 Rofinpark Eberswalde

Ensemble Quillo + Helmut Oehring

Murnau's groundbreaking and, above all, formally and medially spectacular film has a mirror-symmetrical structure - in its macro- and microstructure, in movement patterns, repetitions, variations and scene sequences. This mirror symmetry was, among other things, the formative factor for the composition SEVEN SONGS for Sunrise with its reflection on both sides of the mirror axis, the center of the film in SONG 4 Heyday/Felicity. A dream sequence appears here, the utopian primal cell of the entire film, a visual concentration of the longing of two lovers, which unites them in their loneliness and despair. They bear witness to each other. This dream sequence is a cry. Such a cry must be. Again and again. It moves and tears the curtain that separates us from the truth - from the "unreality of reality and the promise that the rock of


the world is founded on the wing of an elf" (Scott Fitzgerald). Music is such a cry. Shakespeare's sonnets are such a cry. The madrigals and responsories of Gesualdo. Or I Will by Thom Yorke: the sound of emerging silence and muteness. Silencing. A hushed image. Meridian. Solar eclipse. In the song in the middle of the film, the singer describes the desperate will of a father to protect his child in this world, in today and tomorrow, with all its everyday inadequacies and unbearable devaluations, in the face of small and large catastrophes. At the end of the film, in the epilogue Sunrise, we see the lovers as parents united with their child, experiencing the sunrise, looking hopefully towards a future together. Possibility.
What is said is always the opposite of what is unsaid. Negative of what remains untouchable, unspeakable. It is the same with the visible and the invisible. The audible and the inaudible. The essential work of a composer to find sound for a silent film is to track down the invisible. The unrepresentable. To stage the inner movement on the walls. That is UrKino. Composing this is comparable to photographing the deposits on the inner walls of our souls. Mystical and mythological shadow sound plays.

In silent films, the eye rules over the ear. The composer imagines what the director communicates on the visual language level. In Murnau's silent films, it is largely internal processes, conflicts and tragedies. The material is close to ancient dramas and Shakespeare's tragedies and tragicomedies - timeless and valid as long as there are people. Murnau illustrates this inner tragedy by interweaving realistic film scenes with memory and dream sequences. Music is continued reporting on reality with the means of dreams - surveying the inner space, suspending time in the midst of strangeness. My music on Murnau's silent film follows, internalizing it, its own means, strategies, parallel existing laws, its own (kind of) dreams. SEVEN SONGS for Sunrise dream Murnau's silent film. Listening to this film language, we have the feeling of touching something significant in an indirect way. I see the heartbeat of the movie. I feel the melodramatic aura that seems to move from within an opera. As a composer, I grope for the meaning of the inner film landscape and listen for points of reference. In this space between film and music I also create: HÖRspiel, SEHmusik.   Helmut Oehring in October 2013

2019 EURYDIKE? (ME/SHE – I see . volume 1)

AudioVideoInstallation + performance

for a deaf dancer/voice + a violinist/dancer/voice + a guitarist/dancer/voice

composition + direction + camera + film editing: Helmut Oehring

dramaturgy + co-director + photography: Stefanie Wördemann

audio production + camera + film editing + sound direction: Torsten Ottersberg / GOGH smp

duration: 27'


world premiere March 2019 Nancy Spero Saal / European Cnetre of Thea Arts HELLERAU Dresden

Maiy2019 SPOR Festival for Contemporary Music and Soundart  / Art Gallery Århus

September 2019 KONTRAKLANG X KONTAKTE Biennale for Elektroaccoustic music of the Acadamy of The Arts Berlin

Kassandra Wedel + Emily Yabe + Mia Carla Oehring

EURYDIKE? (ME/SHE - I see . volume 1) continues the cycle of documentary-poetic responses to Monteverdi's L'Orfeo with a focus on contemporary perspectives: the two music theaters on Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness - Orfeo14 vol. 1 in the context of global refugee movements with Le Concert d'Astrée / Emmanuelle Haïm + Ictus Ensemble at the Opéra Lille as well as FinsterHERZ or Orfeo17 with the Kammerakademie Potsdam and deaf refugees: Searching for language in music and sign, performance and dance, sound and video. The deaf dancer Kassandra Wedel, the violinist Emily Yabe and the performer + guitarist Mia Carla Oehring portray EURYDIKE? in snapshots of an audio-video installation with performance, which will be continued in 2023 in the DanceMusicVideoInstallation EURYDIKE? vol. 2 in collaboration with male prisoners from Dresden Prison.

EURYDIKE? DarkHeart. WhiteFace. WildFace.
Snapshots in the darkest moment:
Orfeo's betrayal. Abyss of the soul. In-between world.
Isolation room. DarkRoom.
No longer a victim, not yet a perpetrator.
ME/SHE herself, not Orfeo.

2001 Berlin Symphony

music for orchestra for the FilmRemake by Thomas Schadt

of Walter Ruttman's silent movie of 1929

co-composition: Iris ter Schiphorst

audioconception + -production: Torsten Ottersberg/GOGH

duration: 75’   


world premiere States Opera Unter den Linden Berlin

Staatskapelle Berlin

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