Pictures: © Claus Langer/ WDR - Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik 2022



5 Performer, Ensemble Modern

Space: 14 m x 14 m

Duration: probably 0:40 h


Hard Boiled Variations - 15 ½ Cycles for Ensemble and Dance by Arnulf Herrmann


Premiere: 06.05. 2022


Wittener Tage für neue Kammermusik, Saalbau Witten, Theatersaal Witten (Germany)


Ensemble Modern & CocoonDance company 


Commissioned by: WDR and Ensemble Modern, supported by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media, Kunststiftung NRW, Ernst von Siemens Musikstiftung and Ensemble Modern Patronatsgesellschaft e.V.


By and with: Martina De Dominicis, Tanja Marín Friðjónsdóttir, Anna Harms, Colas Lucot, Daniel Morales • Research: Álvaro Esteban, Clémentine Herveux, Susanne Schneider • Conducting: Elena Schwarz

• Choreography: Rafaële Giovanola • Sound direction: Norbert Ommer • Live electronics: Jürgen Martin • Light design: Jan Wiesbrock, Boris Kahnert • Costume:

Fa-Hsuan Chen • Choreographic Assistance: Leonardo Rodrigues • Dramaturgy: Rainald Endrass


Duration: circa  0:40 h



The artistic incentive for this collaboration, in particular with the composer Arnulf Hermann and his composition HARD BOILED VARIATIONS, is based on physics and rhythm. It’s about jointly developing a communication system/network in which the bodies of the audience, musicians, dancers and the conductor are linked together. The groundwork for this unique form of communication is created by impulses, ignited by both acoustic and physical impulses. The two ensembles are conceived from the very beginning as one. The performers, whether with a musical or physical instrument, are in the same space. 


In Hard Boiled Variations, a cycle of five parts is repeated a total

of fifteen(-and-a-half) times. The first run lasts five minutes,

the shortest just three seconds, and finally only one beat remains. So the speed increases more than a hundredfold. The reference to visual perception or visual art is quite intentional: comparable to

a gradual receding from a canvas, the details fade with increasing distance (or acceleration) - and the superordinate contours come to the fore until finally only the overall impression of the picture remains recognizable. Thus, at the end point, the frenzied speed also tips back into its opposite: it stands still.