Photo: Maximilian König
“Less Kulturamt, more Berghain!”
the stage musician and composer works at major theaters in German-speaking countries, and as Moritz Fasbender she is currently releasing her first album “13RABBITS”. She is an artist who loves provocation – and since the beginning of the year, she has also been bringing punk to the HIDALGO collective. A conversation about multiple personalities, the emancipation of East German women and the HIDALGO collective on a mission to Mars
Friederike, who is Moritz Fasbender?
That’s me. Moritz Fasbender is one of my alter egos. That’s what I’ve been calling myself on the Internet for a long time. And at some point, someone close to me said: Why don’t you call yourself that when you play the piano? I thought that was a great idea. Moritz Fasbender is responsible for the piano music.
What alter egos do you have besides Moritz Fasbender?
Some, but two in particular: Geza Cotard, a total trash mouse, and Professor Doctor Brigitte Emmersdorfer. She’s the smartest of them all, knows everything, but is extremely frigid and totally dispassionate about everything she does.
Interesting, what subject did she do her doctorate in?
In Human Biology. She first studied molecular biology and then human biology, but also baroque flute in Oslo. She completed her doctorate on the dysfunction of osmotic processes in Western European plants under the influence of electroacoustic music.
Photo: Marc Fischer
All right … and what are these personalities all about?
Funnily enough, no one has ever asked me that. Everyone takes it for granted.
Would you like to tell us?
I’ve simply always played with my different personalities. When I was three, I sat in the nursery and divided myself up into different roles on all the cuddly toys. Today I do that on stage. On the one hand, I live out my play instinct. On the other hand, it also translates into my inability to concentrate on just one thing. I suffer from terminal ADHD. (laughs)
When will you be Friederike and completely yourself?
If there is no stage nearby. The alter egos are artificial figures.
Aren’t these different artificial figures confusing for the audience?
I don’t think so, I do so many different things. Otherwise I wouldn’t be able to reconcile all of this under one roof or brand. Only one agent once told me that it might be counterproductive if I used a man’s name. Because women are now given preferential treatment. But I’m not interested in that. It’s about the music. I also don’t accept invitations to women’s jazz festivals.
You’re not concerned with female emancipation?
I don’t give a damn about that. But that’s also due to my East German origins: we simply don’t know this problem. Of course I can see that women are still underrepresented here and there. But I think this is being overemphasized. Nothing will be eased if we always emphasize inequality. However, I am also aware that this is an elitist ‘I’m lucky’ attitude from a global perspective.
At first, I assumed different moods. I always do that when I write for myself, i.e. of my own free will. The basis of a piece is then almost always an atmosphere, rarely a melody.
Is that different from the way you work on plays?
Yes, because I refer directly to the lyrics, the stage or the energy of the people. I respond to a stage set, a director or a screaming actor. I improvise on the synthesizer or the piano. I usually put on something that is contrary to what the audience can see. I complete the stage action. I counter him with something.
You also bring this contrarian and contradictory approach to the HIDALGO collective. You said you want to bring in more punk, what do you mean by that?
(laughs) Well, everything is incredibly well structured in the HIDALGO collective and the work ethic is exemplary. What I want to say: At the moment, we’re still a pretty good bunch. Sometimes I feel like pulling the plug. Just go for a drink and discuss things over whisky, not at eleven in the morning. We also have to allow for the unexpected – I see that as my job. Less Kulturamt, more Berghain!
What do you hope to gain from three years of the HIDALGO collective?
That an extremely recognized, internationally visible family of artists is growing up here.
In times of Mars missions, it’s okay to think outside the box.