The Realization of a Bach Aria

We are currently working on a rather big project: the realization of the aria  “Großer Herr, o starker König” from the Christmas Oratorio by Johann Sebastian Bach. What a glorious piece! But as you can see, we are not an ordinary orchestra – here we do not utilize conventional instruments, we play tablet PCs and smartphones. The TV program Metropolis (ARTE) visited us at an early stage rehearsal of our new project. In the process of rehearsing it becomes clear to the viewer and us how we grew into the project and into an actual ensemble.

To realize a piece from the Christmas Oratorio has been a long conceived vision of our leader Matthias Krebs since it is the “Faust of classical music.” This well-known and marvellous piece is already approached with respect by ensembles with conventional instrumentation. But the realization on smartphones with the intention of not loosing any artistic value is yet another sophistication.

In the course of two months rehearsing for the Christmas Oratorio on digital devices, we realised how we little by little turned into an actual ensemble. Since we are all trained musicians we have high musical expectations while learning how to play these new instruments. Precise playing was achieved by practising hard. Consequently, we started to involve our whole bodies in playing music while interacting with the other players. Additionally, a professional conductor leads the ensemble through the piece.

As mentioned in the clip, there were dialogues between the DigiEnsemble Berlin and several cantors in Berlin, explaining our new project. Now, we are  happy to announce that we will perform the Christmas Oratorio as well as the aria “Ombra Mai Fu” and a new special composition for smartphones at the Berlin Cathedral on the 16. Dec 2012. We will contribute the pieces to the Sunday church service. Everybody is looking forward and waits in suspense for the reaction of the audience.