Between heaven and earth - 2018

1000 years of Worms Cathedral, Germany

On the occasion of the cathedral’s 1000-year consecration, both the Nibelungen Museum and the City Museum at the Andreasstift open a contemporaneous special exhibition in cooperation with the Diocese of Mainz and the Haus am Dom.
For the special exhibition at the Nibelungen Museum and in cooperation with curator Claudia Glass, Idee und Klang Audio Design has created a purely auditory exhibition about the infamous Quarrel of the Queens.

The show deliberately dispenses with visual information altogether in order to mirror the literary original’s immateriality by means of another immaterial medium, that is to say sound. At the darkened Myth Lab in the museum’s basement, the play is being performed over an Auro 3D loudspeaker setup. Hence visual space is pushed to the background and the rooms are being defined by sound alone. Exactly like reading a book, subjectively associated spaces and images are emerging while listening intently. Visitors who are sitting on a circular tier in the middle of the room are being exposed to voices, noises and music from all sides, coming from a total of 12 loudspeakers.

The instrumentation consists of an amalgam of synthetic and acoustic instruments. From synthesizers to the aeolian harp with its abstract, almost synthetically seeming tone quality, via string instruments through to animal horns featuring a primordial and yet familiar appeal, a wide range of instruments of both material and immaterial origin was covered. Those animal horns, such as cow horn, Tibetan yak horn, conch shell, et al., come from the collection of horn blower Balthasar Streiff who also recorded these instruments for the play.

Owing to their vibrant and ample tone colours, these instruments evoke intimacy and closeness and furthermore establish a historical link to the High Middle Ages, the era when the Nibelungenlied was composed.


Client: Nibelungenmuseum Worms
Scenography and Curation: Claudia Glass - Corell und Glass