Letters from the East for alto and guitar


A sequence of settings of poems by Reiner Kunze as translated by Ewald Osers
reflecting on life in the old German Democratic Republic (DDR)
as seen through the postal system.

The stamp’s upside down the head’s upside down
an oversight an oversight
better take another envelope

Birds postillions when you start singing
the letter with the blue seal will arrive
with stamps bursting into flower
with words reading “Nothing lasts for ever.”

With the sun the post comes unloading letters.
How much light.

Postman blue clockhand
while you stand at number ten
I’m not yet dead.

I am K. and live here.
The poet has moved away address unknown.
Even our silent letters are screened

Video (performance by the composer)