Composer Bernhard König says that he is a 100% "man of conviction" when he talks about his innovative musical concepts for the elderly. Inspired by the beauty of the old "wrinkled" voices, he teaches senior citizens how to experience music in a meditative, mourning, loving, learning, protesting, amazed and delighted way.
At the Sonnenberg Generation Centre in Stuttgart, the musician conducts biographical interviews with elderly people to trace their buried dreams and traumas. The central theme is "Favourite and Life Songs". Songs that are anchored in their own biography and stand for a very special story or memory. For 78-year-old Magdalena Reisinger, the song "Kann denn Liebe Sünde sein" (Can love be sin) triggers an emotional outburst. She became pregnant at the age of fourteen. Outlawed by the villagers, beaten daily by her mother, she gave birth to a daughter at the age of fifteen. This experience, which has shaped her life in a dramatic but also joyful way, is the starting point for Bernhard König to compose the 'Song of Life' by Magdalena Reisinger. More intense emotions are expressed in such songs of life than in mere narration and remembrance. In the monotony of the old people's home, oppressed, frozen seniors become sounding and shining people.
Bernhard König continues this work in Cologne with the experimental choir "Alte Stimmen". Anyone who is at least 70 years old and is interested in musical experiments is allowed to sing along. The oldest chorister Alfred Adamszak is 91, and not a bit tired - despite the terrible war experiences and the painful goodbyes from loved ones. The composer also takes this biography as an opportunity to develop a song of poignant and expressive strength together with the choir.
Although Bernhard König has been inventing music for the most adventurous occasions for many years, he has never before experienced a project that holds so many surprises and develops such interpersonal dynamics and emotional depth. The author Irene Langemann has accompanied his work for months and documented how the magic of music inspires the seniors on the Neckar and Rhine, how their love stories, their tales of woe become the life songs of a generation that has gone through a lot and has a lot to tell.