Cold War Concert · Nicolai Worsaae

Works by Nicolai Worsaae that touch upon the Cold War will be performed underground in Stevnsfort Cold War Museum this week

Stevnsfort /

On September 17th and 18th, one can experience a unique concert, when Cold War pieces by Nicolai Worsaae are performed by FIGURA ensemble in the underground tunnels of the nuclear attack-proof fortress, Stevnsfort. The pieces Wesenheit ab Wesenheit (2011) and WaWV (2014) are based upon the poetry collection Isolationsdigte (Isolation Poems) written by Stasi-spy Jörg Meyer during the eight months, he was imprisoned in isolation in Stevnsfort. 

The poems for which Nicolai Worsaae has composed music for, are based upon a true story about the espionage, the revelation and the imprisonment of Jörg Meyer during the Cold War in Denmark. Meyer was put in isolation without trial and he waited for almost a year for a verdict before he was exchanged with a german prisoner and expelled from Denmark. The father of composer Nicolai Worsaae was the chaplain at the time and he met Meyer during his imprisonment. Meyer gave the chaplain a copy of his poetry collection, which inspired Nicolai Worsaae to compose music for about thirty years later. 

With the ascetic prison cell, the life under restrictions, and minimal means of expression in mind, Nicolai Worsaae found inspiration. He focuses on the great significance the room itself has for life in isolation. This is implemented in the music through a speaking choir, where the subject moves around in the ensemble, making the spacial aspect hearable. 

Edition·S conducted an interview with the composer about Wesenheit ab Wesenheit · Click here to listen. 

Today, one can experience Stevnsfort as it looked like during the Cold War, adding a physical dimension to the concert. The concert is held in the underground tunnels with room for only thirty people. In this way, the concert brings you closer to experience the influence, the isolation had on Meyer's state of mind. And so, the event is described as one where Worsaae's interpretation leaves a physical and intense image. 

Before the concert, one can get a guided tour in the fortress. Read more here

Performing artists are Signe Asmussen, vocal/trumpet/percussion · Anna Klett, clarinet · Jesper Egelund, double bass/Erhu · Frans Hansen, percussion/saw · Nicolai Worsaae, electronics · John Fomsgaard, sound design. 

The concert is a part of Golden Days Festival. Go to the programme here