Intermezzo – Jakob Stillmark

with Ronja Sophie Putz, violin

So nah dran

In the vast majority of cases, a traffic sign is perceived exclusively as an unambiguous sign. After a longer observation, however, for example from the perspective of a walker, one begins to perceive the details of its specific nature: The contours of light mud marks from last winter, the
red paint that has faded somewhat over a long period of time, the tag of Antifa that has already  been half-scraped off. They are what distinguish this traffic sign from others and reveal themselves only to the second, the must-full look. It is a gaze that, from a position of freedom, marvels at the phenomenon under consideration and perceives it "as if for the first time" - from a childlike perspective.

The composition "So nah dran", a 4-channel sound installation and performance for violin solo, is about the conflict of both perspectives (in this case, however, related to a first or second hearing). The starting point are samples of a recording of my earlier work for solo violin of the same name, whose musical source material is in turn the Partita in D minor for solo violin by Johann Sebastian Bach (BWV 1004). Altogether, the composition consists of four different time levels that proceed independently of each other and revolve within themselves. The first consists of very fast cuts, while the second uses very similar material extremely slowed down. The third begins again and again with the gigue from the above-mentioned Partita, and the fourth, which is added with the live performance of the violinist, consists of fragments of the work for solo violin on which the installation is based, which in turn are decomposed by pauses.

My concern in this composition was to create a field of tension between the first (analytical) listening, which recognizes the Bach reference and classifies it in music-historical terms, and the second (phenomenological) listening, which, similar to the musseful gaze, focuses entirely on the deviation from the original of the reference, resulting from a deliberately created blurring with regard to the historical unambiguity of what is heard.

Internal Supervisors and External Advisors: Isabel Mundry (ZHdK), Jörn-Peter Hiekel (ZHdK).

Jakob Stillmark


Jakob Stillmark received his first composition lessons with Ernst August Klötzke in Wiesbaden. During that time, he won, among other prizes, the German Orchestra Foundation's prize for "best composition" at the orchestra workshop for young composers in Halberstadt. From 2013 to 2019, he studied composition with Isabel Mundry at the University of Music Munich and has been working as a freelance composer since receiving his master's degree. He participated in numerous international master classes, where he received lessons from Toshio Hosokawa, Liza Lim, Younghi Pagh Paan and Peter Eötvös, among others. His works have already been heard in the chamber music series of the Munich Philharmonic, at the Munich Biennale, at the Munich Kammerspiele, at the Shanghai Academy of Music and at the Staatstheater Darmstadt. His orchestral work "heim-?" was premiered in June 2019 by the Deutsche Radio Philharmonie under the baton of Manuel Nawri. He is also a composer and organizer at the aDevantgarde Festival in Munich. Since September 2020 he is a PhD student at the Zurich University of the Arts and is a scholarship holder of the Friedrich Ebert Foundation. As a fellow of the Bavarian Ministry of Science and the Arts, Stillmark will begin a six-month working residency at the Cite' des Arts in Paris in November 2022.

Ronja Sophie Putz


Ronja Sophie Putz received her first violin lessons from Jorge Sutil and Olga Bloch-Voitova. Soon she received her first awards at Jugend Musiziert and scholarships from various foundations such as the Rotary Club and Talentwerk e.V. and gained first experience as a street musician. Several European-wide trips alone and with various bands and artist collectives followed, leaving a clear footprint in her human and musical worldview. In 2014 she was accepted into the class of Ingolf Turban at HMT Munich. She performed at the Münchner Kammerspiele, the EuroTheater Bonn, the Neuköllner Oper and various projects of the independent scene. In 2016 she was a finalist at Ton und Erklärung in Berlin and also plays in bands like VKKO. Since 2019, she has been studying at HMT Leipzig with Carolin Widmann and in 2020 was accepted into the TONALi Academy, through which she works on innovative concert formats with Hamburg students. Her violin was made by the Munich violin maker Michael Jaumann.