An apparative and installative chamber opera in 3 acts and rooms of the TA T on the occasion of the 200th birthday of Hermann von Helmholtz.

31 August 2021 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Hermann von Helmholtz, a trained military surgeon, amateur musician, anatomist, physiologist, experimental and theoretical physicist and philosopher. As early as 1862, in his publication titled ``On the Sensations of Tone as a Physiological Basis for the Theory of Music``, Helmholtz not only attempts to re-found the aesthetics of music on a scientific-physiological and physical-acoustic basis. He also develops the apparatuses himself that make his theory comprehensible to the senses for him and others. And he challenges his readers to reproduce his acoustic experiments.

In 2015, the composer and conceptual artist Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag and his team developed the sonH-vowel synthesiser based on Helmholtz's apparatus for 'combining vocal sounds'. Sonntag remains faithful to the historical model of this, in many respects, first electrically excited, mechanical-acoustic additive synthesiser and develops it further into a concert musical instrument. For a year now, the team has been working on the reconstruction of Helmholtz's 'harmonium with natural tuning'. By using different pitches, it is virtually a sounding counterpart to his 'equal temperament' piano, i.e. tuned with equal pitches.
With these two acoustic instruments and the aid of his own voice and the double siren, tuning pipes and resonators which he also designed, Helmholtz created a sound laboratory. An adaptation of this laboratory becomes the starting point for Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag's composition of a chamber opera - a journey through time, along what has long seemed to humans to be most intrinsic: the sound of their voice.
The concerts will each take place as a guided tour for small groups in accordance with applicable hygiene regulations. Concerts start every hour beginning at 5.30 p.m. until 8.30 p.m. The meeting point is the visitor entrance of the Tieranatomisches Theater visitor entrance on the Campus North.

Salon Helmholtz: Stimme und Stimmung

How do we hear? How are the tones of musical instruments, the voicings of the latter and their timbres related to the sensations of consonance and dissonance? - How do music and mathematics correspond? - How does scientific knowledge connect with music and philisophy? These were the questions addressed by Hermann von Helmholtz (1821-1894), one of the last universal scholars of the 19th century, whose statue today adorns the courtyard of the Humboldt-Universität, among other places. In his research, he combined natural science, philosophy and music theory. To this end, he experimented with the piano and the voice and developed apparatuses that not only put his theory into words and writing. It should also become experimentally comprehensible for him and others - understanding as hearing and experiencing. His wife Anna's Berlin Salon provided him (and other ``superstars`` of science of the time) with an esteemed stage. On the occasion of Helmholtz's 200th birthday, this format is being revived at a special location, the landmarked Object Laboratory of the Hermann von Helmholtz Centre for Cultural Techniques.

The salon complements the performances of HELMHOLTZ VOOCAAL and offers a look behind the scenes as well as a practical-theoretical dialogue between art and science. The work of Helmholtz will be discussed by Jan-Peter E.R. Sonntag together with renowned scientists (27.8.: Prof. Dr. Julia Kursell, 28.8., Dr. Christopher Li, 31.8, Prof. Dr. Viktoria Tkaczyk) on and with historical as well as newly created instruments. Moderation: Felix Sattler (Curator Tieranatomisches Theater). Duration: approx. 75min.

Reservation via portal, link see above.

To participate, one of the ``three G's`` must be presented at the entrance (vaccinated, recovered or tested). If childcare is desired during the event, please register at veranstaltungen@hu-berlin.de by 2 August 2021.