Laila Skovmand: AquaSonic (2016)

The AquaSonic underwater concert by Between Music, takes the audience on a unique and fascinating voyage into uncharted territory. Equipped with custom-made underwater instruments four musicians and singers submerge themselves completely in water in each their man-sized water tank. From the watery depths they deliver visual performance, art installation and concert in one; from silent warm waves of euphony to ocean-like deep rumbling, and roaring soundscapes of another world.

The groundbreaking work of getting a four piece band to play and perform under water highlights the deeply passionate and slightly mad inventor mindset that drives Between Music. The creation of the work has required years of experimentation and countless test-runs in close collaboration with everything from dedicated deep-sea divers to imaginative instrument makers and brilliant scientists -people driven by the same urge to break new ground and challenge existing worldviews. This has led to the development of a number of highly peculiar underwater instruments such as hydraulophone, violin, electromagnetic harp, chimes and percussion, as well as a distinctive vocal technique for underwater singing. The result is a concert experience out of the ordinary; a deep dive into a compelling visual universe and a new world of sound. It is organic, raw, aesthetic – and deeply original. AquaSonic is brimming with curiosity and fascination with the unknown that permeates the water tanks and waves in over the audience.

composition & play: Laila Skovmand
performance: Robert Karlsson, Morten Poulsen, Dea Maria Kjeldsen, Nanna Bech
light design: Adalsteinn Stefansson
sound design: Anders Boll
production: Between Music, FuturePerfect Productions

May 27th-29th, 2016, Opera Days Rotterdam

http://www.aquasonic.dk
https://www.operadagenrotterdam.nl/en/programme/events/aquasonic

Mathis Nitschke: VIOLA (2015)

VIOLA is a short opera installation in public space. The audience is sitting inside a pharmacy and looks through the shop windows, watching the train station square. There sings in monologue Viola, a confused and sad woman, disillusioned, lost. The voice of singer Martina Koppelstetter is transmitted through a wireless microphone onto transducers: devices which convert the big glass panes of the shop windows into loudspeakers, creating a sounding membrane between the inside and the outside. She sings mostly for herself, then she refers from time to time to (real or virtual) pedestrians, later also to the audience. Finally she disappears in anonymity again. Only loneliness remains.

http://mathis-nitschke.com/wp/en/viola/

Serge Kakudji: Coup Fatal (2014)

In Coup Fatal the Congolese countertenor Serge Kakudji and 12 musicians from Kinshasa engage with the baroque repertoire. A new and contemporary universe is created around the vocals, both visually and in music: exuberant and organic and yet full of contradictions.

The music is by the Brussels composer Fabrizio Cassol and guitarist Rodriguez Vangama; the director is Alain Platel, assisted by the dancer Romain Guion (C(H)ŒURS) and the overall setting, a curtain of empty cartridges, is by Freddy Tsimba. And let us not forget the costumes! The baroque Coup Fatal is given the unadulterated brilliance of the perky « sapeurs », the dandies of Kinshasa. Rather than a tribute to baroque music, Coup Fatal is an ode to the inexorable elegance and vitality of the Congolese.

Read more about the genesis of this project.

http://www.kvs.be/en/productions/coup-fatal

Cally Spooner / Peter Joslyn: And You Were Wonderful, On Stage (2014)

Cally Spooner developed And You Were Wonderful, On Stage, a peripatetic musical (music composition: Peter Joslyn), over the course of two years. The piece was delivered by a chorus line of women, gossiping about celebrities, athletes and politicians who have outsourced their performances to a technology, with examples including Beyoncé’s lip-syncing scandal during the presidential inauguration, Lance Armstrong’s Oprah-mediated apology for his use of doping, and speechwriter Jon Favreau’s departure from the White House in pursuit of a career as a Hollywood scriptwriter. The chorus’ libretto was based on meeting notes from an advertising agency, on how to extract personally disclosed stories and aspirations from employees and repackage them to better reflect the voice of their corporation as a tv-commercials.

Distinct groups of performers seem oblivious to one another: an opera singer announces five scenes in the guise of television hosts, a chorus line generate soundtrack at static microphones, dancers -governed by in-ear sound systems produce a repetitive image of movement while technical crew follow shot-lists, which most often privilege empty space and apparatus. As floor managers  assemble, dis-assemble then re-assemble uninhabited stage-sets, the production team call cuts to pre-recorded commercial breaks, from a distant control room.

In the installation at the Stedelijk Museum, filmic composition becomes a by-product of a process; where these several well-rehearsed units of performers produce a forty-six minute non-stop motion, which sometimes creates coherency,  and at other times does not. The six camera feeds are presented on five screens, with  their chronology and technical mishaps left untouched, in an installation that has more in common with a live choreographic event, than cinema.

Source:
http://www.stedelijk.nl/en/exhibitions/contemporary-artists-cally-spooner

http://www.peterjoslyn.co.uk

Judith Egger: Bardo (2012)

“Mystic, enigmatic and visually stunning: This is how Judith Egger’s performance “Bardo” can be described. Circling around states of the in-between and of transition, the term “bardo” refers to the Tibetan Book of the Dead (Bardo Thodol: “Liberation Through Hearing During The Intermediate State”), a collection of Buddhist sutras from the 8th century. The text focuses on the interval between death and rebirth in which different states of consciousness are achieved. These “gaps” or phases of uncertainty can not only be experienced after death but are an essential part of life itself.
Judith Egger establishes three-dimensional miniature settings in her oral cavity – a sensitive place between inside and outside where not only breath and sound leave the body, but communication is generated. The open mouth becomes a stage, a theater revealing various scenes. These will be accompanied live by Munich-based composer and musician Axel Nitz and transferred onto the big screen by cinematographer Maria Rilz. Thereby, sounds from the interior of the artist’s mouth will be integrated into the performance.
Although the miniature architectures placed inside Judith Egger’s oral cavity appear to be deserted and rather static, the flickering of a TV set in a living room and the sushi conveyor belt at a restaurant show some movement. The foaming froth inside a cave refuses stagnation as much as the sparkling water of a fountain symbolizes the circle of life. The artist creates moments of contemplation and tranquility through different scenes anticipating change at the same time. What happens beyond these intermediate spaces remains uncertain.”
Text by Nadine Seligmann

http://www.judithegger.com/bardo.html

Zoe Scoglio: Shifting Ground (2012)

Lava to rock, fossil to fuel – Shifting Ground is a performance and installation that draws parallels between geological transformations and those found within the human race. Media artist and performer Zoe Scoglio unites object manipulation, physicalised sounds and interactive projection mapping and ceremonial participation in a journey from the cosmic to the concrete. The boundaries between human and rock melt away, as the presence of the earth’s minerals is revealed in the structures we create, the tools we use, and the bodies in which we live. Shifting Ground looks at our ever-changing relationship to geological substances, exploring the idea that all forms are temporal and metamorphic. In a society defined by its seemingly solid and indestructible cities, Shifting Ground aims to reminds us of the impermanent and fleeting nature of our time on this earth, and our symbiotic relationship with the elements that form it.

http://www.zoescoglio.com/filter/installation/Shifting-Ground

The Knife: Tomorrow, in a year (2009)

The world seen through the eyes of Charles Darwin forms the basis for the performance Tomorrow, in a year. Theatre production company Hotel Pro Forma’s striking visuals blend with pop-duo The Knife’s ground-breaking music to create a new species of electro-opera.

An opera singer, a pop singer and an actor perform The Knife’s music and represent Darwin, time and nature on stage. Six dancers form the raw material of life. Together with the newest technology in light and sound, our image of the world as a place of incredible variation, similarity and unity is re-discovered.

The opera-genre provides the DNA, the framework of the performance. It is written for three singers of different backgrounds: popular music, classical opera and the performing arts. They are the narrators and the main characters in the performance. The singers tell about Darwin and they observe time and nature as Darwin.

 

Premiere on 2 September 2009 at Old Stage, Royal Danish Theatre, Copenhagen, Denmark

Performers
Mezzosoprano Kristina Wahlin
Singer/actor Lærke Winther
Singer Jonathan Johansson
Dancers Lisbeth Sonne Andersen, Agnete Beierholm, Alexandre Bourdat, Bo Madvig, Jacob Stage, Jan Strøbech

Direction Ralf Richardt Strøbech and Kirsten Dehlholm
Music The Knife
Musical collaborators Mt. Sims, Planningtorock
Libretto The Knife, Mt. Sims, Charles Darwin
Set design Ralf Richardt Strøbech
Light design Jesper Kongshaug
Sound design Anders Jørgensen
Costumes Maja Ravn, Kirsten Dehlholm

Production Hotel Pro Forma

https://www.hotelproforma.dk/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Knife