Heiner Goebbels ‘Hashirigaki’ (radio broadcast)


‘It’s a great question this question of washing. One never can find any one who can be satisfied with anybody else’s washing. The French tell me it’s the Italians who never do any washing, the French and the Italians both find the Spanish a little short in their washing, the English find all the world lax in this business of washing, and the East finds all the West a pig, which never is clean with just the little cold water washing. And so it goes.’
Gertrude Stein, from “The Making of Americans”


Premiered September, 2000, Lausanne
Composed and directed by: Heiner Goebbels
From: Gertrude Stein’s ‘The Making of Americans’ & The Beach Boys ‘Pet Sounds’.
Marie Goyette: voice, harmonium and percussion
Charlotte Engelkes: voice, theremin and percussion
Yumiko Tanaka: voice, shamisen, kokyu, taisho koto and percussion
Composed for 3 voices, koto, shamisen, theremin and various electronic sounds. With radical use of stage lighting (Klaus Gruenberg), slightly reminiscent of Bob Wilson, and beautiful costume designing by Florence von Gerkan. It seems in 2004, the play was reduced from 90 mn to 60.


01 [spoken introduction]
02 One is doing something
03 Every afternoon pt I
04 [japanese interlude]
05 Every afternoon pt II ‘Mexico’
06 Every afternoon pt III
07 Every afternoon pt IV
08 [japanese interlude]
09 Caroline No reprise (The Beach Boys)
10 Butterflies and beetles
11 Umbrella in the mud
12 A good deal of noise…
13 There is always then repeating…
14 It makes me a little unhappy…
15 [japanese interlude]
16 Don’t talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder) reprise (The Beach Boys)
17 [chorale]
18 There are very many people being living…
(total: 51:20)

This is unfortunately an incomplete recording of the play. I derived the titles above using the texts available on Goebbels’ website. The complete play also included the following songs : One is doing something, Plovers twittering, Celebration Song, Tito Ruffo, Butterflies & beetles, Destroying a bell, Some are not sad enough. In addition, the last song of the original show was ‘I Guess I Just Wasn’t Made For This Time’, from the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album.


I can’t honestly remember where I got this recording from. Probably a blog or a forum. Here’s how the piece was introduced: ‘This is from a radio broadcast of the piece, which is too long for one CD – SO – this recording is incomplete. There is a glitch in the last track. […] My girlfriend procured this from Goebbels himself while writing her undergraduate thesis. He’s a very nice guy.’ The mp3s where produced on 01/07/2004. As stated by original uploader, track 16 & 18 come with unwanted noises.



1 Response to “Heiner Goebbels ‘Hashirigaki’ (radio broadcast)”

  1. 1 amaretto March 24, 2008 at 10:14 pm

    great posting, and very interesting stuff. thank you, Continuo!

    on a personal note, from my own direct experience – dating back to his days in Cassiber and onwards – i can confirm the above statement about the man being ‘a very nice guy’. and a brilliant professor! you may want to check the cute series of videos posted on YouTube re. his European Graduate School Lecture, 2007.


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