Partita for Rock Group, Chamber Orchestra and Truth-Teller op. 2 „The Song in Me“
in three main and twelve sub-parts

second post-passion, second piece of the Cycle Ich bin nicht da / Ich bin da
[I am not there / I am there]

full text

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op. 2

I: The Catastrophe

1st Part: The Actual problem
(0:00) (1:55)

Oh, I’ve got cardiac pain almost permanently. Otherwise it was only from time to time, but now suddenly it’s almost always.

But that’s not the problem I have. The problem that I have is…:

There’s always something in the back of my mind: Something very very important is happening there, that overshadows everything or…

It is as if the foundation or the base is has been removed, from which I could do something.

To change it then, that would be no longer a topicif I wanted to! Or if I were allowed to!

Somehow I’m missing something before; I’m lacking something underlying.

There is something else, something much more important that I do not exactly know and that is destroying everything from the outset.

It dominates everything, this something else.

I can imagine: a normal person just reaches out for life and is just living his life then.

And he experiences things and makes things and is right in the middle of lifeand all that I am not at all!

From the outset I renounce everything.

Yes, but, you know…. In whose name?

Why should I change something about it?And that’s out of my reach then. I cannot reach it. I may not touch it, I cannot touch it—that’s far away.

Pushed far away. I then simply tried to live with it and make the best of it. But the problem is: it’s just plain boring.


2nd Part: The Diagnosis of Catastrophe: the Non-Existence
(1:55) (1:17)

My life is actually really a catastrophe.

Because I don’t live! I do not live. It’s disgusting actually. It’s boring, disgusting, numbthere’s no life there. Nothing happens. Nothing exciting or stimulating or inspiringnothing!

Everything that is somehow a little bit stimulating is my own music that I make with myself.

For others, it is just not so. They are in life. They might have their problems, but at least they are in life. They take part in something or at least have something to do with something alive. Which is not the case with me at all.

It’s a catastrophe.

And then I live my small damn fucking life, completely useless and boring, completely empty. Nothing stirs anymore.


3rd Part: Impression of Total Lie
(3:12) (0:52)

Does this mean now that I’ve just been lying all these years, only telling bullshit, if I now say so?

Was that all nonsense now?

Because: If it’s true what I’m saying nowin principle that proves it all wrong.

As if that’s all a lie, too, if I open myself now, everything’s a lie.

All nonsense.

It seems a bottomless lie to me. A bottomless pseudolife. Bottomless, and most of all: It’s impossible! It cannot be anything but a lie. I’m not there and have never been there and…


4th Part: Unsettledness, Confusion, Nascent Certitude
(4:04) (1:38)

Certain things I cannot deny. But neither am I able to say, „Yes“, I cannot say „Yes, that is you!I can’t say it! I don’t know!

I have no connection to myself or something. I do not know if I’m really here or if I existI don’t know that!

It’s like I always have this distance to real life. As if I had always just been standing over it.

Of course I can’t deny some things, but I still feel so alienated; anyway I do not know if that might have something to do with me.

I could now say: Yes, you were that! You’ve walked here and there…“

There was this path that I often walked down, I see it in front of me, I see…

I see…: Before the gardens there was some shrubbery—has it something to do with me? Or…


5th Part: Total Resignation
(5:42) (2:01)

And often, oftentimes…

…I notice how small it all was, that comes to my mind then…

Somewhere a very small voice tells me: „Go on! Try to open yourself.But actually I then lie down.

Actually, I have totally finished and resigned myself to everything.

It’s so hard to want to change it.

I can’t believe that anything is supposed to be real.

On one hand I can’t deny it but on the other I know exactly: nothing will change; I will always stay the way I am, forever. I’m not there.

I know exactly: I will go on living as uselessly and dully as always. Despite everything that I say and that I tell.

It will always remain the same.


II: The Film

6th Part: Preamble of Renarration
(7:43) (0:23)

I’m just being apathetic…But yesterday I watched a movie and suddenly…—Yes, it tears me apart. That doesn’t go together.I’m afraid of it! That’s why I close myself.



7th Part: Renarration of the Film The Song in me*
(8:07) (8:30)

Yesterday there was a film on TV… Well, there was a young woman, and she goes to South America to participate in a competition, and at the airport she sits there in the gate area…

And sitting next to her is a woman who has a baby, a toddler, in her arms, and she sings the child a lullaby, in Spanish.

And now the young woman suddenly discovers… All of a sudden she realizes: „Gee! I know the song! I don’t know why and how but I know the song!“

And then suddenly she sings along…Suddenly the words of the song come back in her mind.

Then she tells her father—who she thinks is her father. She tells him on the telephone from South America what happened: at the airport she heard a song she knew somehow.

Well, she forces the father to tell her something about it. She is wondering: „What’s going on? How do I know such a song?”

„How come? What can you tell me about that? Tell me something!”

Eventually he tells her something. Then she asks him: „What was my name?“ And then he tells her: „Yes, we adopted you.“

And then again: „What was my name?“ And then she actually finds…

And then he tells her her name. And then she looks into the phone book and actually finds someone with this name in the phone book and…

She is calling.

And then she makes an appointment with the… [Uncle]

Now she’s coming there to this family, and for this family, for them she’s the little girl–of course! „You are the Maria from back then!“

And she doesn’t know what is happening to her. She cannot deny: Something is there, yes—she also recognized the song, even sang along. Somehow she knows: Something is going on—she can’t deny it.

But at the same time it is absolutely alien! At the same time it is totally alien! What…?

On the one hand: The family begins to howl, the aunt begins to howl: for her it is a sort of reunion, retrieval.

This has a certain logic and connection—but not for the girl!

At the same time…

At the same time she can’t deny all this.

And also she sees that the others are really real: they know immediately what is going on and help her to make the connection. And as a matter of course the others, the family treat her…—it’s crazy, how natural and…

Yes, but…—It’s hard to express…

And then… The most touching point then is how…

Fucking shit!

Then she comes…

Shit, everything hurts. My heart hurts. The whole time my heart hurts.


Well anyway then she arrives, gets out of the car, and then you already see behind the curtain the mother’s sister, the aunt. You see her already and…

Then she comes out into the street. And then she just looks at the girl, Maria, just like that. She looks just like that. Then she just touches her…

But this contradiction: on the one hand…

Then she recognizes her and takes her…

… in her arms, so warmly and intimately—crazy.

But the contradiction: To Maria, it’s not like this: she can’t see it this way, they are actually strangers…

But at the same time she has a clue and knows that somewhere…: There’s a certain logic or something—she knows it somehow.

That’s very weird, a very strange situation, very odd.

On the one hand, it’s as if she just had to open herself and as she would belong to them. Perhaps she even knows it, maybe she’ll do it—but she isn’t able to do it yet, it doesn’t work.


For the aunt everything is clear. In the end it turns out that her father had more or less kidnapped her, that the German parents had kidnapped her.

When the aunt takes her in her arms and kisses her and hugs her intimately: this is crazy, this is always so beautiful and overwhelming for me. Again and again… Yes.


III: The Grandmother

8th Part: The Discovery of the Own Life
(16:37) (0:48)

This sudden discovery reminds me of myself: as if there was another world of which you know nothing! That fascinates me: I can empathize simultaneously so much, but I perceive also this utter strangeness. When you discover something: there it is inside you, but you don’t know it, you just discover it in this moment.

It is strange! This phenomenon that something is inside you…Oh, and that’s the name of the film: The Song in you“. That fascinates me somehow. It’s crazy.


9th Part: Remembering of Forgotten love
(17:25) (3:14)

My granny…

Somehow I often think of her…And every time…

Fucking shit.

I can’t live at all because I can’t breathe. Probably this is the explanation.

I can’t feel anything either because immediately I can’t breathe when I feel something.

This is perhaps this background of which I always speak, this mist or this strange layer between me and the actual problem or the actual real life.

I often think of my granny…

As if she somehow…–wants to admonish me…

As if she wants to admonish me, as if she…

As if she…I don’t know yet exactly what it is, but oftentimes I have to think of my granny in everyday life just like that.

And that’s always as if…

…as if she…wants to tell me……or as if she…

Ah, it’s so hard to express



10th Part: Grandma Admonishes Me to Keep on Living
(20:40) (1:39)

One day she must have told me: Take care of the pence and the pounds will take care of themselves.

She must have told me this someday. That is to say: every time I leave a penny lying around or drop it, then I pick it up or I take care of it. Then I hear her… and…

then it is as if I had a 100-percent confidence in her so that I say: Yes, what my granny says…

that’s true. What she says is true, you can just follow it. You even have to follow it. You can follow it, you need to do that. What she says is true.“

And that’s why do it then.


11th Part: Grandma is Talking to Me, Gives Me Encouragement
(22:19) (2:11)

As if she wants to tell me, as if she says: Yes, stick to it, keep at it!“ Or: Yes, you’ve got your own life!“ or: You are somebody!“, or: There is…

… really you!“

Yes: „Keep at it, stick to it!“ Or: „Take it seriously! Really do it!“ It’s strange: I think of her then, and it’s like a warning voice.

Yes. That’s as if I… It’s so hard for me to say… But it’s like…Yes, a real support or a real love or a real encouragement.

Then comes back this huge…I don’t know…—indifference or seclusion or…—It’s very strange. And that little confidence I have in myself or the little that exists of me in which I could ever have confidence:

I’m missing it.


12th Part: Insight
(24:30) (1:25)

I hope that I will not let myself be held off of it!

Well, but that’s really like a…—it’s really like a crossroad or so:

It may be just as well that I totally close myself or…—This is really some kind of decision.

And that seems to me so utopian: that it could be possible, that I actually open myself.

Like this Maria.

That can only come from the outside: my grandma, so to speak, she assumes the role of the Argentinian family.

She just speaks to me.

As if I could only exist with somebodysomeone who encourages me.

Yes, only with love.

Without this love you’re not there yourself.

And then you become empty like I am becoming empty now.




* „The Day I Was Not Born“—German film with Jessica Schwarz and Michael Gwisdek, director: Florian Cossen




Peter Töpfer