On 9 May 2008, a unique concert was staged at the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. Specially composed for the occasion, Vor dem Verstummen by Harald Weiss received its world premiere in the field of stelae, when it was performed for an appreciative audience of thousands for the one and only time by musicians of the Berliner Kammersymphonie orchestra under the baton of celebrated conductor Lothar Zagrosek. The sound experienced by each individual was different, depending on his or her precise location amongst the stelae.
Now it can be experienced again as the first virtual concert in the world...
You will need to visit the Memorial to experience the concert in all its unique interactivity. The sound of the instruments changes depending on your location and route through the field of stelae, growing louder or softer, more passionate or muted. This means that the concert you hear will be personal to you.
Outside the Memorial, you can listen to the piece in offline mode in the conventional, non-interactive way.
In order to stage this first virtual concert in the world, a complex process was used to re-record all of the instruments in December 2012. Geo-coordinates were assigned to each individual instrument as well as to the female vocalist, and a completely new type of software was developed. This enables the instruments to be perceived in a virtual 3D space within the smartphone application, and to simulate the concert at the Memorial. The listener’s location at the Memorial is identified using the smartphone’s GPS function, and the sound associated with those specific coordinates is determined.
Daniel-Jan Girl, a member of the Board of Sponsors of the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, was the driving force behind the initiative.
He was particularly motivated by how future generations would regard the Holocaust and the issue of coming to terms with the past, what form the culture of remembrance would take in the 21st century, and how it could be made relevant to young people.
The virtual concert at the Memorial is also made possible thanks to the support of our many partners. Please contact us if you want to find out more: