Imagine the sound of the 1940-ies. Snapshots of songs from that time in Norway, Germany and USA. The song Lili Marleen became famous for being unstoppable in crossing borders between countries and languages in a time where crossing borders was not accepted. I wanted to somehow tell the story of my mother-in-law, who was born a war child, in the form of a vocal ensemble piece.
A very condensed version of the project, “My Mother Said” was premiered by Neue Vocalsolisten Stuttgart in Grieghallen, Bergen 2019. The project continues, and will eventually become a longer piece.
I focus this project on sound and consciousness, and how we remember and forget. Things that connects us, even during war and conflict. My mother-in-law was the child of a Norwegian mother and a German soldier father. After being sent as a parcel back and forth between homes and countries for several years, she was as a 4 year-old adopted by a Norwegian-American family in Brooklyn. Then she forgot everything, including that she ever spoke German.
In addition to 1940-ies songs that she might have heard during her childhood, I am building the piece with sounds from the three languages, Norwegian, German and English, based on snippets of text from the official documents and other places.