There were around 34,000 Jews in Kaunas before the Holocaust. The language of Yiddish, spoken by the Jewish people of Europe was then a vibrant part of the sound world in Lithuania. Reflecting on disappearance of this sound and the meaning it carried, Philip Miller creates sound interventions in the specific Kaunas sites where Jews once lived.
He has recorded the old ghetto song A Jewish Child – A Yiddish Kind, sung by the Lithuanian-born actress Bella Shirin and the Israeli singer Maya Pennington, and transformed it with spoken interjections of Yiddish aphorisms. These colloquial phrases speak about remembering and forgetting, talking and being silent.
The disembodied, ghostly voices that make up these sound works emphasize the impossibility of restoring the original “life” of a language.
“Ikh vil nit visn – Nenoriu žinoti – I don’t want to know.”. 2017
Sound installation. Voice: Bella Shirin and Maya Pennington
J. Gruodžio st. 31, Kaunas
M. Daukšos st. 6, Kaunas
More info: http://bienale.lt/2017/en/philipmiller-1/