Public Art Munich - PAM 2018 – Ari Benjamin Meyers - Staatsorchester - Grand Finale PAM

Public Art Munich - PAM 2018 / Game Changers

Munich, mostly at night, is full of street musicians whose performances are not as spontaneous as they may seem but are, in fact, quite institutionalized. One needs to apply every morning for a permission at the city administration. Ari Benjamin Meyers Staatsorchester (State Orchestra) is an invitation for the dispersed street musicians to come together to establish an informal ensemble.

Ari Benjamin Meyers questions the sites of music high culture along with the rules that go with it. Meyers moves the focus from the orchestra pit to the streets and back to the center of power, inside Munich’s City Hall, the very building where the musicians have to apply for their license to perform. His composition, written specially for the occasion, becomes part of the musicians’ repertoire and is rehearsed on the streets of Munich before its world premiere. This means that over several weeks prior to the closing performance in the Grand Assembly Room of Munich City Hall, fragments of the composition will be heard as an overture to a work in progress, and one week before the grande finale the musicians will publically rehearse at the MaximiliansForum.

Staatsorchester questions the divisions between stage and audience, institution and street life, professional and amateur, and music in art, art in music. It also seeks to follow these time-based, ephemeral, invisible, and simultaneously transgressive sounds by using them to reimagine the distinction between interior and exterior, private and public spaces. In this context, dissonance constitute not a lack of harmony, but a radical democratic practice in support of political openness.