Nightingales in Berlin
a feature documentary directed by Ville Tanttu
produced by Playart Productions, Finland
featuring David Rothenberg, Cymin Samawatie, Lembe Lokk, Korhan Erel, Benedicte Maurseth, Wassim Mukdad, Sanna Salmenkallio, Dietmar Todt, Tina Roeske, and others.
This film tells the story of David Rothenberg’s efforts to gather together an international band of musicians to cross the species line and make music live with nightingales. Because of its spacious parks and the large number of enthusiastically singing birds, Berlin is the best city to make music with nightingales. Almost everything one plays to a nightingale will encourage him to sing more. These encounters becomes a direct window into the unknown, a touch of communication with a being with whom we cannot speak. The play of pure tones jarring against click and buzz, it all becomes not a code but a groove, an amphitheater of rhythms in which we strive to find a place.
One of the most beautiful things about this project is to film and record a musician who first encounters a nightingale song, with no preconceptions. These are truly amazing moments. We include as many as we can, and then we visit the scientists devoting their careers to decoding the practical meaning that may or may not lie inside the patterns and sequences sung by these amazing birds, whose beautiful song ties cultures, and traditions together in these midnight encounters in the parks of Berlin.