dear Germany,

Last summer you absorbed us, and we absorbed you.

So we have a lot of you inside us now.

We found your very centre, where the pin drops.

It was a field with a view of rolling hills.

From there we walked

to a place called Walkes

and began hitch-hiking for a week, randomly, thumbs out

no clue where we’d end up each night.

On foot, bikes, in your Audis, Skodas, Mercs, old trucks,

we passed through your heat-waving landscapes and into your convictions, aspirations and exasperations.

We ended up recording many of you

as you kindly or furiously attempted to answer our question,

“What in your opinion needs to be said?”

We made an edit of those recordings, and over the past half year,

we’ve learnt it by heart, as a way to learn German.

We also learnt your silences, and the other little sounds you make, or manage not to make, while thinking-speaking.

So we have a lot of you inside us now. Some of that sits comfortably within us, others less so.

Starting February 14th, it’ll all be coming back out

as we re-breathe your breaths and re-speak your words,

in performances of Mund-Stück (Mouth Piece) on stages

in Leipzig, Mannheim, Berlin, Munich, Stuttgart, Bremen, Paris, Mainz, Freiburg and, we hope, other cities to follow.

*let’s speak soon*

Ant Hampton and Rita Pauls