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1.000.000 Lichterstadt Berlin (1.000.000 lights for Berlin)

August 20 2004 from 6.30 - 11.30 pm
Music for an exceptional art-performance created by the iranian artist Misha Bolourie,
performed by Simon Stockhausen and seven musicians at the victory-column in Berlin together with thousands of
schoolchildren from 25 berlin schools.The children enlightened 1.000.000 specially designed candles and
positioned them on the pavement around the victory-colummn

planned and promoted by Misha Bolourie and KulturPate e.V.


What I experienced on this day, August 20 2004, belongs to the most spectacular and moving sensations that have occured in my life as a composer and musician as well as a human being.
The non stop-performance of a 4,5 hour-concert in total concentration together with my wonderful 7-piece ensemble, all of them being fantastic musicians and improvisers, was a great challenge that had made me pretty nervous during the preparation-phase of this project. And when shortly before the beginning of the performance the sky darkened and a heavy rainstorm began(it had already been raining the whole morning and the music-parts which we had attached to the columns the night before were soaking wet) and I caused a small accident while reparking my car (the police forced me to "otherwise we will toe you away" - all the main streets were jammed because of our project) my nerves started trembling like a loose sail in the wind.

But then right on time at 7 pm the storm vanished, the light of the dawning sun heated us musicians standing on the first floor of the victory-column and we began our performance. The following experience was fantastic: around the column an ocean of light consisting of 1.000.000 candles came into being and we accompanied this act of creation with 1.000.000 sounds, words and tones.
The sound recordings (clapping-singing-whistling-humming-rapping) I had produced together with the pupils during our 2 week "convincing-tour" through the Berlin schools created a magic atmosphere I hadn´t dared to imagine, the spoken words and poems I had recorded together with three actors and two children in my studio now blended beautifully with the live-music and supplied the philosophical-political dimension I had hoped for and the "collage of wishes" I had produced out of short interviews with the children during the preaparation-phase enchanted everybody being present.
After four and a half hours I woke up from this dream and sensed a great energy, even bigger joy and a feeling of pure peace.
I then had to wait until 6 am the next morning and helped the street-cleaners to extinguish all the candles so that they could begin their act of destruction(all the trucks trying to remove the candles from the street had flat tires after 30 minutes) and finally I carried my equipment-cases through an ocean of glass-fragments and destruction to my car which was correctly parked car.

What my friend Misha Bolourie has created here, together with thousands of children and adults, has a significant meaning for our world and the evaluation that children should have within it. No documentation, no sound-recording and no photograph can bring back or transmit the sensation of this evening but I´m very happy about the catalogue that Misha Bolourie has published.

The transitoriness that determines all our life´s creates an infinite space for our memories and fantasies and maybe to me this is the most bautiful bequest of this unique day!

Simon Stockhausen on the train from Berlin to Cologne Decembre 13/2004

The Ensemble:
Christian Weidner: alto- and tenorsaxophone
Daniel Schroeteler: drums and percussion
Kalle Kalima: electric guitar
Iven Hausmann: trombone
Martin Stegner: viola
Martin Iannacone: cello
Klaus Hasse: trumpet
Simon Stockhausen: sampler, synthesizer, soprano saxophone, composition, live-electronics
all musicians also played various birdwhistles

actors involved in the speech-recordings:
Andrea Stockhausen-Bürgin
Stephan Wolf-Schönburg
David Bennent

children involved in the speech-recordings:
Emma und Paula Kreye

sound-projection: Albrecht Leu

lyrics and poems by: Misha Bolourie, Glenn Gould, Dalai Lama, Thit Naht Han, Khalil Gibran

excerpt from the live-performance / Khalil Gibran lyrics and music - MP3

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you.
You may give them your love but not your thoughts.
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.
You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite, and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;
For even as he loves the arrow that flies, so He loves also the bow that is stable.

Khalil Gibran: the Prophet

MP3 "collage of children's wishes"

a bird`s view of the performance at the victory-column in berlin