Readings


next performances
06. 06. 2021 (Sun.):Heide Marie Voigt: Das Schweigen des Herrn Haßler - a reading with the author
Burg Blomendal, Auestr. 9a, D-28779 Bremen-Blumental
beginning 05:00 p.m., no admission without reservation:
kl_peters@t-online.de or 0421/ 608358
19. 06. 2021 (Sat.):from Horst Evers: Für Eile fehlt mir die Zeit - a musical reading
Erlebniszentrum Naturgewaqlten, Hafenstr. 37, D-25992 List auf Sylt
beginning 07:00 p.m., no admission without reservation:
melanie.steur@naturgewalten-sylt.de
22. 06. 2021 (Tue.):Sonnenuntergang Ost
Denkort Bunker Valentin, Rekumer Siel, D-28777 Bremen-Farge
beginning 07:00 p.m., no admission without reservation:
https://www.politische-bildu
07. 10. 2021 (Thu.):Heide Marie Voigt: Das Schweigen des Herrn Haßler - a reading with the author
Bürgerhaus Vegesack, Kirchheide 49, D-28757 Bremen-Vegesack
beginning 08:00 p.m. in the large hall, no reservation:
admission according to 3G.
05. 11. 2021 (Fri.):from Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister: Schnittstellen des Glücks - a musical reading
Barrien Watermill, An der Wassermühle 4b, D-28857 Syke
beginning 05:00 p.m., no admission without reservation:
kulturmuehle@t-online.de or 04242/ 7170
13. 11. 2021 (Sat.):Rudyard Kipling: The Gardener - a musical reading in German language
Walle Church, Lange Reihe 77, D-28219 Bremen
beginning 05:00 p.m., no admission without reservation:
beushausen@putten-orgel.de or 0421/ 3963234
16. 11. 2021 (Tue.):from Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister: Schnittstellen des Glücks - a musical reading
Bürgerhaus Obervieland, Alfred-Faust Str. 4, D-28279 Bremen-Kattenturm
beginning 07:00 p.m., no admission without reservation: 0421/ 6967 3020

Heide Marie Voigt: Das Schweigen des Herrn Haßler - a reading with the author
Where were they deployed and what did they do there? How did it make them feel? What did they believe in? Heide Marie Voigt spoke to German World War veterans during the 90s. We have now compiled a long monologue from their responses that is both bleak and at times preposterous. During the course of the piece, what at first seems to be a matter-of-fact account twists and turns to evade both questions and conscience. It becomes painfully clear that war devoures them all - not just the victims but those responsible too. The only victor is pain, and it is passed onto the next generation like a concealed hand of cards. Powerfully and sensitively accompanied on the synthesizer by Lennart Hinz.
Duration approx. 60 mins.

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from Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister: Schnittstellen des Glücks - a musical reading
Martin Heckmann meets Bremen author Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister and together they read poetry and prose from what is now her third book. Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister puts life under the magnifying glass, conjuring up images: some staying close to the mundanities of everyday life, others reaching dizzying heights, but always remaining sympathetic to the listener's experience. Through their subtle openness, Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister's texts take the audience on a journey inside the precious labyrinth of the human heart and soul. Accompanied by Daniel Tolsdorf on the double bass.
Duration approx 60 Mins.



Rudyard Kipling: The Gardener - a musical reading in German language
Victorian morality prevails and the entire Empire is staggering under the strain of the Great War. Back in England, Helen Turrel, a respectable, unmarried lady, suddenly loses her raison d'être and is not able to admit it to herself. A haunting, tender and subtly violent story about repression, grief and redemption, sensitively accompanied on keyboards by Lennart Hinz.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Sonnenuntergang Ost
To put into perspective what has in recent years become a dictum in public debate in Germany: it is the atrocities inflicted on German civilians in 1944 and 1945 by the advancing Red Army that were 'bird shit' - compared with the earlier German crusade of destruction in the former Soviet Union. 22 June 2021 marks the 80th anniversary of 'Operation Barbarossa' - the almost romantic code name given to the campaign at the time. In this dramatic reading, Martin Heckmann and Kathrin Steinweg approach the topic and try to find words that can reach us but still fittingly describe the events. Vasilisa Gordasevich accompanies the event on the timpani.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



from Horst Evers: Für Eile fehlt mir die Zeit - a musical reading
Ever found yourself sitting on a hopelessly overcrowded train opposite a married couple doing their best to drag you into their noisy argument? And wasn't that recent parents' evening just another painful reminder that your child's socialisation is actually no longer yours to control? Or does programming your new all-singing, all-dancing coffee machine take so much loving care and attention that you wish you'd just stuck with your old moka pot? Then Horst Evers' stories (and of course the atmospheric musical accompaniment by Jürgen Schöffel) will soothe your downtrodden soul ...
Duration approx. 75 mins.



Hans Christian Andersen: The Nightingale - a musical reading in German language
Undoubtedly a fairy tale for adults. The emperor of China loves the song of the nightingale that always sings outside his window. So far, so harmless. Then, the emperor of Japan gives him a mechanical nightingale that can not only sing as well, but also looks far more beautiful. What happens next leads straight down into the surprising depths of the human soul. Flautist Iris Hammacher acccompanies the story on various instruments to give the text a wonderful atmospheric density.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Guy de Maupassant: An Odd Feast - a musical reading in German language
Two friends retreat to an old castle by the sea for Christmas. They eat and drink their fill and then really it's time for Midnight Mass. But on the other hand, perhaps that might turn out to be a little dull. So what about paying a visit to the farmer in his old shack next door instead? After all, they say he's just lost his grandfather and the body should still be laid out. That's bound to be more exciting! And while we're at it, we might as well offer him our sincere condolences. Oh, but that's odd, where's the body? Johannes Sauer on the ivories accompanies us delicatly as we solve the mystery.
Duration approx. 50 mins.



Stories from Magic Realism - a musical reading
As people began to understand how monumental its scope actually was - this vast, enigmatic collection of books, with its endless storeys and passageways, that nobody had yet quite been able to fathom; as the realisation spread that every book ever written or even just imagined was actually recorded here ... every one! In every language! ... a sweeping euphoric optimism initially took hold. Finally, it seemed, there was now a solution, an explanation, a justification at long last for all of the questions, grievances and problems that had tormented humanity over the course of its history ... A bewildering yet illuminating, fascinating and very relevant reading, sensitively accompanied by Lennart Hinz on the piano.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



Christiane Palm-Hoffmeister: Ende gut. Alles!? - a book reading with the author
Jekyll or Hyde? Poet or executioner? Who is he really, this unknown father? This sender of loving letters that his daughter seeks out long after his death? The author's search uncovers 75 years of German post-war history, as well as the fate of her unmarried mother, in a way she could never have imagined. Together with the author, Martin Heckmann reads from her book and tells love stories and life stories that she, and countless similar German families in the 20th century lived, endured - and kept secret.
Duration approx. 60 Mins.



Flintenweiber und Untermenschen
A staged reading by Martin Heckmann and Kathrin Steinweg about how Nazi racial doctrine tainted everyday life in Germany during the war, and the very real significance, especially for Eastern European and Soviet prisoners of war, of belonging to a purportedly 'inferior race'. Letters from former prisoners, and documents from the time, recall a chapter of German history that truly seems hard to believe. Contrary to the media-grabbing claim of a well-known German politician, far from being just an insignificant footnote, it is a painful reality that stares back from the mirror at us in Germany whenever we dare take a closer look.
Duration approx. 90 mins.

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Guy de Maupassant: What the Devil - a musical reading in German language
Well, it would be nice if he could sit by her bedside for a while at least as the old dear breathes her last. But work is calling, that's how it goes. Hmmm, let's see what the neighbour would want for keeping vigil! On the other hand though she might keep it up for another few days - she's always been stubborn. So, perhaps agree on a lump sum? A tale - you might call it that - about the lightness of being, with a surprising, yet beautifully fitting, tender accompaniment by Trio Scambio from Oldenburg.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Jan Schröter: Nur mal kurz - a musical reading
An entertaining but rather wicked experience. Seven short crime thrillers by Jan Schröter, so short in fact, that they only just start to gather momentum when the final climax draws near and then lingers uncomfortably in the mind. Just what does lie beneath that long-term girlfriend’s sitting room floor, how does the warehouseman caught in the act takes revenge on his boss using a tube of superglue, and what about that last bungee jump ...? but no, it's never what you might expect. The ambitious musical programme is in the very capable hands of Dieter Weische (flute) and Johannes Sauer (piano) playing atmospherically intense works by Delanoff, Margola and Piazolla.
Duration approx. 90 mins.

video trailer


Farhan Hebbo: Die Flöte des Hirten - a musical reading
Ever heard of Marie Schnackt? Marie Schnackt (literally: Marie chats) is a café where people who have come to live in Bremen from all over the world have the chance to meet, talk German and share cultural experiences, outside of language and integration courses. Marie Schnackt is now celebrating its 2nd birthday. Festivities include readings of work by Syrian poet Farhan Hebbo whose newspaper columns have meanwhile become a Bremen institution. Some of the texts will also be performed in Arabic and Farsi. Marwan Jaro will accompany the event on the saz.
Duration approx. 75 mins.



Wolf Craving - a living room reading with music in German language
A dark forest in the middle of nowhere. Hardly anyone dares to walk the few, shadowy paths that lead into its depths, and old age comes fast to the few who must eke out an existance from its barren soil. At night, especially in winter, you can almost imagine feeling these glinting, hungry eyes following you from out of the dense undergrowth. But things aren't always as they seem ... A tongue-in-cheek story about courage and eros that is guaranteed to put a smile on your face, once it has given you the creeps. Accompanied by Johannes Sauer on the piano.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



New Stories from Kattenturm - in German language
Norbert ... You know Norbert, right? The one who always sets his alarm clock on his desk for 10:17, so he doesn't miss the radio weather after going to the toilet? Who likes to spend his time off on a Sunday riding the bus? Who breaks out in a cold sweat because Cindy with the blue hair wants to go to the office party with him? But no matter how tough life gets - Norbert is the man to handle it! Imagined and captured by Andreas Gröhl, from the quaint Bremen district of Kattenturm. Bremen guitarist Jürgen Schöffel provides the fitting musical setting.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Farhan Hebbo: Die Rose - a musical reading
Farhan Hebbo is of Syrian descent and now lives in Bremen. Through his unconventional, always slightly melancholic lens, he sheds a gentle light on everyday life of this city, with surprising perspectives, twists and turns. Hebbo has already been a guest to the Bremen Shakespeare Company, the Institut Francais and Villa Ichon, and his newspaper columns have become a Bremen institution. A small but well-chosen selection of his texts can now be heard at Bürgerhaus Obervieland - in the presence of the author himself, and accompanied by the sounds of the saz, played by Marwan Jaro.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Bret Harte: How Santa Claus Came to Simpson's Bar - German language
A Christmas story from the Wild West. Simpson’s Bar lies way up in the hills beyond Sacramento. Nobody has ever found any gold here yet, although the earth has been ransacked in search of it. Life is harsh and the people taciturn. In winter, it usually never stops raining, with the village sinking down into the mud and the men incessantly falling into drunken stupors. And little Johnny has never heard the word ‘Christmas.’ “How Santa Claus Came to Simpson’s Bar” is a touching story by Bret Harte with a miraculous twist bringing joy to all.
Duration approx. 45 mins.



MiniLit live - musical readings in German language
A selection of five small but perfectly formed stories by Bremen authors, with texts by Laura E. Beck, Colin Böttger, Jörn Grebe, Rollo Heinsch and Madita Krügler. Bremer Literaturkontor e.V. has assisted in the creation of the texts and made them accessible to a wider audience in the publication series 'MiniLit'. The complete series will be availbale to take away, free of charge, on the evening. Florian Oberlechner - the accordion player known throughout Bremen - will provide the evening's musical accompaniment with spontaneous improvisations.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



More Stories from Kattenturm - in German language
Why you should never look up when you go jogging. What goes through the mind of the swimming pool attendant as he starts his early shift after a heavy night. Why old Heinz secretly drank all the water from the vase. These and similar stories from the delightful Bremen district of Kattenturm, as experienced and recorded by the Obervieland literature group, 'Die Ohrenleser'. To give the evening's stories a fitting musical setting, we have the pleasure of welcoming Bremen guitarist Jürgen Schöffel.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



1001 Nights for Kobane - a musical reading in German language
A fundraiser with a difference, in cooperation with Patra-Janina Schultz, Robert Levin and the Bremer Shakespeare Company, in aid of rebuilding of a school in war-torn Kobane, Northern Syria. No sign of Ali Baba or Aladdin, but a firework display of good old roguish pranks and spiner-tingling erotic adventures from a multi-cultural Arabia, rediscovered in an ancient Arabian manuscript and translated by Claudia Ott. Definitely not for young ears! Musical accompaniment by Marwan Jaro on the saz and irresistible orient delicacies from the chef from the 'Falstaff'.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



from Daniel Defoe: Roxana - a musical reading in German language
A delightfully risqué tale from high-society London at the beginning of the 18th century. What exactly did happen when Roxana took the path of sin and proceeded to sleep her way, with instinctive, nonchalant cold-bloodedness, to the upper echelons of society? After all, rather an unlikely fate for the demure daughter of French Puritan immigrants. The reading is accompanied by Johannes Sauer on the piano, in fitting Baroque stye, which - so they say anyway - really suits it rather well.
Duration approx. 75 mins.



Venus and the Boys - a living room reading with music in German language
It's September 1940 and an ominous mood prevails shortly after the declaration of war against Germany. To counteract the pervasive feeling of dread, the Parisian art scene clings together in darkened cafés, anxious, yet eager to live life to the full, and in strangely high spirits. An electric, uninhibited longing for closeness, reassurance and touch is spreading, and the night takes its course. A compilation of erotically charged and explicit texts, atmospherically accompanied by Johannes Sauer on piano. Definitely cert. 18.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Robert Louis Stevenson: Thrawn Janet - German language
In the remote Scottish village of Balweary her name is spoken only in whispers: Thrawn Janet. It is all the new minister can do to keep her safe from the other villagers. They have a terrible suspicion about her and always give the dour old woman a wide berth - didn't both her neighbour's cows recently die overnight? And anyway, when did anyone last see her in chuch? Fear is spreading and it turns out that evil sometimes lurks where we least expect it.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



Robert Louis Stevenson: The Bottle Imp - German language
They say it was brought to earth by the Devil himself: this peculiar, milky white bottle with the strange, flickering shadow inside ... It is said to have the power to give its owner everything they desire - love, fame, fortune, health. But there's a catch. If the owner dies before selling the bottle, he or she must burn forever in hell. What's more, the bottle must always be sold at a loss. Meanwhile it has become uncomfortably cheap. Keawe, the young man from the West coast of Hawaii, who came by the bottle more by chance, is beginning to run out of options.
Duration approx. 60 mins.



E.T.A. Hoffmann: The Sandman - a musical reading in German language
In his dreams and in real life Nathanael finds himself followed by a gloomy, peculiarly malformed figure known as Coppelius. In Coppelius' presence things become dark, confused and hostile. And Nathanael seems to be the only one capable of sensing this sinister force. Or is he? The spread of darkness appears unstoppable. This is an extremely unsettling tale by the master of horror, accompanied on the piano by Johannes Sauer.
Duration approx. 90 mins.



Charles Dicken: A Christmas Carol - a musical reading in German language
Mr. Scrooge is what we would today call an 'independant investor', whose sole ambition in life is to increase his fortune. He divides his fellow human beings into people he can use and people who stand in his way. His life revolves around exchange rates, contracts and interes rates. Devoid of humour, he sees joy and sorrow as an abnormality of mind. As Christmas approaches, a festival that cynical Mr. Scrooge has always inwardly denied, he is visited by ghosts (or are they angels?) who awaken in him longing, joie de vivre and love. A heart-warming - you could almost say therapeutic story that - as you will hear - really has lost none of its relevance.
Duration approx. 3 hours, with two intervals, plenty of mulled wine and of course heaps of German 'Weihnachtsgebäck'.



Jack London: Nam-Bok, the Liar - German language
After many years, a man makes an un expected return to his Inuit village in the far North, at the mouth of the Yukon. There, he tells of his monstrous journey to a people in the South, who build giant canoes from iron and houses that touch the sky. Is he telling the truth? Or is he an imposter? Either way, his stories make the village uneasy and the council of elders has a difficult decision to make ...
Duration approx. 45 mins.



Oscar Wilde: The Young King - a musical reading in German language
Outside the palace gates, feverish preparations are being made for the next day’s coronation ceremony, while inside, the prince marvels at himself in front of the mirror, delighting in his coronation regalia. During that night he is haunted by dreams that give the upcoming event an unexpected twist. A fairy tale about power and ego with a surprising outcome - all accompanied by Anneke Brose on the church organ.
Duration approx. 60 mins.


Geschichten aus dem Bärengehege - a musical reading
A totally loopy, exciting, yet oddly wistful mix of adventure, initiation rite, banter and absurdly tall tales from a faraway land that still has enough blank spots on its map for everyone to enjoy. Enough said about this barrage of nonsense of the highest order, seasoned with just a dash of Jurrassic Park, a hint of Edgar Allan Poe, a little pinch of Karl May and a surprising helping of Old Testament. A highly entertaining evening reading with rather beautiful and cohesive musical accompaniment from Barbara Andrae on the bayan - whatever that is. So, all that remains to do is come, listen and learn!
Duration approx. 120 mins.



Audiobooks


In addition to the audiobooks presented here, Martin Heckmann will soon be bringing out a new, 12-part audiobook series of selected literary classics in German language. Find out more at www.martin-heckmann-liest.de!



Martin-Aike Almstedt: Das Eine, das Andere und das Andersandere ... 2 mp3 CDs
Martin-Aike Almstedt is a composer, philosopher, author, and teacher of Ki-Yoga. In light of the rercent rise of the far right in Germany, this book, now available as an audiobook, summarises his long life. Based on the philosophy of conciousness, it inspires a new, liberated approach to life that overcomes patriarchal structures and paves the way for a contemporary form of matriarchy.
Production: Martin-Aike Almstedt

Order at hartmutbuescher@hartmutbuescher.de (€ 18,50 + shipping)


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Vera Reh: Der Feuerrabe - Das verschollene Buch der Druiden ... 2 mp3 CDs
When 14-year-old Eric, along with his mum and two brothers, moves house yet again, he has no idea that it is going to change his life forever. Questioning his fate leads him down a path paved with friendship, prejudice, mysteries and magic. "The search for your destiny always becomes a search for your roots", said the old yew tree with her whispering leaves. And Eric awoke.
Production: Vera Reh

Order at info@martin-heckmann.de (€18,50 + shipping)

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Marlene Boklage: Oldenburg - vom ersten Grafen bis zum letzten Herzog ... 1 Audio CD
Curiosities, anecdotes and stories from the last thousand years of Oldenburg’s history – letters, sermons, travel diaries and recollections. What was on the menu in an Oldenburg inn in the 14th century – and did it actually taste any good? How did  clergymen in the 16th century prefer to spend their spare time – and were they actually allowed to do it? And what were the people of Oldenburg doing while the Bastille was being stormed in Paris – and was that actually sensible?
Production: Marlene Boklage

Order at info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 9,90 + shipping)

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Reise zum Vulkan - taken from Carlos Fuentes: Terra Nostra ... 2 Audio CDs
Towards the end of the fifteenth century, before Columbus sets sail on his first voyage to America, two Spanish adventurers cross the Atlantic bound for the west. The account of the arduous journey across the ocean, involuntary participation in the culture of an ancient Indian tribe and the labyrinthine pathways of its mythical world and then the start of a fantastic journey right into the heart of the Aztec empire lingers in the mind like a powerful dream.
Produktion: Martin Heckmann

Order at info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 14,90 + shipping)

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Bram Stoker: The Dualitists - German Language ... 1 of 3 Audio CDs (Slipcase 'Teufelsbrut')
'The Dualitists' is one of the “three wicked stories” of the title and the writing is as devilish as it is intelligent: cute little twins Zerubbabel and Zacariah are lovingly cared for, neighbourhood boys Harry and Tommy seemingly not. The two of them regularly indulge in their favourite hobby: destroying whatever they get their hands on. Using their pocket knives, they set to work on tables, chairs, picture frames, wardrobes and even small animals – and their hunger for more seems insatiable ...
Production: Musicalegenda

Order at  info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 9,90 + shipping)

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Thomas Körber: Unser Thüringer Land ... 1 Audio CD
An audiobook brimming with essential information on the beautiful German state of Thuringia. Did you realise, for example, that as early as the mid-17th century, the record length for a Thuringia “bratwurst” was some 555 yards? And how about this: did you know that the inhabitants of today’s Saxony are not actually Saxons at all, but, in fact, nothing other than Thuringians?
Production: SDK-Media

Order at  info@martin-heckmann.de (€ 9,90 + shipping)

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