Experimental composer and theatre director Heiner Goebbels reveals his unique process.

Is it a play? Is it a concert? Is it a piece of art? When discussing the work of German theatrical renaissance-man Heiner Goebbels, the answer may not be immediately obvious, but then again, the obvious isn’t something that this genre-defying composer and theatre maker is interested in.

No stranger to Australian audiences (his work has featured at the Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne Festivals as far back 1998), Goebbels will be on our shores once again later this month for the Australian premiere of When The Mountain Changed Its Clothingat the Melbourne Festival. This characteristically fluid mix of concert, choreography and theatre created in collaboration with the 40 teenage girls of Maribor’s acclaimed Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica, first performed in 2012, is a vibrant, dynamic piece that on the surface is about transformation, evolution and ascension. However like much of Goebbels work, it poses many questions without insisting upon any answers.

It is this ambiguity which is the secret ingredient of Goebbels’ uniquely powerful brand of storytelling. “We all have our experiences in real life, based in reality” Goebbels says of the...