My music theatre work Staring at the Bin which is currently being performed at the Munich Biennale Festival was featured recently in a television report by the Bayerischer Rundfunk. You can watch the report by following this link
This week we celebrated the world premiere and the first of 30 performances of staring at the bin, 27 music theatre miniatures for public spaces I wrote for the Munich Biennale International Festival for Music Theatre. On the 28th May the festival begins and my exhibition accompanying the project can be found in the six meter high cube situated in front of the Muffathalle in Munich. Hope to see you there.
Staring at the bin is where the public, music and theatre directly meet, unannounced and unexpected. A collection of minuscule performances in public spaces, events so tiny they appear to be coincidences or strange chance occurrences.
Musical and theatrical events are seamlessly fused to life in urban spaces, distilled to their essence; the rest, the beat, repetition or variation. Day to day life is framed and focussed as it provides the material for intimate interactions.
Meeting eye to eye without an “art” context allows a new relationship, a direct response as all labels are removed, leaving space for ones own meaning. Disturbances in the rhythm of the day force a pause for thought, an opportunity to reinterpret the everyday routines of urban life.
Something for nothing and unexplained, the events are unexpected, heightening awareness, stimulating a more immediate connection to surrounding people, places and occurrences.
In advance of and during the entire festival these mini events are scattered around Munich capturing coincidental audiences. These are documented and throughout the festival an exhibition space will evolve and develop, a living protocol documenting an ongoing experience.
His Master’s Voices – a musical séance has its world premiere on the 23rd June 2016 8pm in TAK – Theater im Aufbau Haus Kreuzberg, Berlin and is the lastest work from DieOrdnungDerDinge
His Master’s Voices is a musical and theatrical dialogue with the past, inviting the spirits of dead composers to join us each evening (seats have been reserved) through contemporary works which are inspired by and transform material from the past
Premiere is on the 23rd June at 8pm with further performances on the 24th, 25th and 26th June at 8pm. On the 25th June there will also be a discussion with the audience in which you can put your questions to the DieOrdnungDerDinge. Tickets can be bought here
As research for this project we conducted a séance and guess who turned up…. Adolf Sax. I kid you not. I was honoured
Photos for this project were once again by the fabulous Michael Jungblut. The photo above won the vote but personally I think this one is pretty special too…
This year I was proud to become a fully fledged member of the ensemble DieOrdnungDerDinge www.dieordnungderdinge.com
DieOrdnungDerDinge are a group of actor/musicians who create staged concert programmes that explore the space between concert and theater/performance in a visual, playful manner.
In June 2016 our newest work, His Master’s Voices – a musical séance, will be premiered at TAK – Theater im Aufbau Haus, Berlin. More information will follow shortly.
Our work together began with the filming of the demo for my music theatre work, staring at the bin, which will be premiered at the Munich Biennale 2016.
In June 2015 we created Bestiarium with the composer Nuria Nuñez Hierro, an interactive music theatre work for children, premiered at Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin
In November “Who is the most Powerful on Earth?” came to the charming Marionette Theatre in Basel. The puppets and set design were based on illustrations I made for the book of the same name. Together with Denis Bitterli, the head of the theatre and Mel Myland, puppet maker, we brought the book to life accompanied by the joyful music of Martinu, played by the clair-obscur saxophone quartet.
“Who is the most powerful on Earth?” (Wer ist der Mächtigste auf Erden?) the audio picture book with music by Bohuslav Martinu played by the clair-obscur saxophone quartet and illustrated by Meriel Price has had an eventful year since it’s first release. First it was nominated for the Leopold Media Prize and is on the recommended list of good music for children by the Verband deutscher Musikschulen.
It has now been released in a fantastic Czech version with the actor Jirí Lábus narrating and can be bought here
Wer ist der Mächtigste auf Erden? is an audio picture book with music by Bohuslav Martinu played by the clair-obscur saxophone quartet, narrated by Wolfram Berger and illustrated by Meriel Price.
It is now available to buy through the Martinu Festtage here, Amazon Germany here, Amazon UK here or can be ordered directly from Meriel Price (see contact form) or the clair-obscur saxophone quartet.
This marvellous musical fairytale, originally a ballet by Bohuslav Martinu, was arranged for saxophone quartet by clair-obscur’s tenor saxophonist Christoph Enzel. All the details of the story can be heard in the music, from the chattering of tiny mice teeth to the wink of an eye. These details and the charmingly cheeky narration of Wolfram Berger, inspired the bright illustrations I created by hand.
The book was kindly supported by the Martinu Festtage and its founder Robert Kolinsky.
It is published by NordSüd and is currently available in German. More information on other versions will follow shortly.
Two of my new music theatre projects will have their world premiere in 2016.
I began developing the first project, Staring at the bin, at the Sounds and City Spaces Festival in Verona.
Staring at the bin is a large scale music theatre work situated on the city streets. It is constructed from many smaller performances that emulate life found in these places. Sounds and actions from public places form the basis of the compositions.
More information about Staring at the bin will appear shortly on this website, including videos shot in Berlin featuring the Ensemble DieOrdnungDerDinge and myself.
The second project was developed by the Music Theatre Collective – Music for Chameleons, which was formed by Anja Füsti, Isabelle Kranabetter, Anna-Sophie Mahler, Pascal Martin, Johannnes Öllinger, Meriel Price, Damian Rebgetz and Cathy van Eck in 2013. As a starting point we took the appearance of John Cage in the game show I’ve got a Secret. More information about this project and the collective Music for Chameleons will follow shortly.
Both performances were of the installation version created together with artist Tino Sehgal.
The performance in Düsseldorf was part of the SCHALL UND GLUT series from tanzhaus nrw.
Symphony X is a love letter to neo minimal no-wave music, a style that came into being in New York City in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. In this very physical work, compositional procedures influenced by composers such as Glenn Branca and Rhys Chatham meet elements from post punk, minimalism and contemporary music. Musical situations at a steady 120bpm are exposed to a permanent web of construction and deconstruction, leading the audience’s expectations astray. The German newspaper ‘Die Zeit’ called it “a completely new music that doesn’t even have a name yet.” The composer and musician JG Thirwell aka Foetus describes the work this way: “a vividly evolving, involving minimalist meditation that is propelled by a rock backbeat. It pummels thru a dizzyingly unrelenting series of progressions, existing somewhere at an intersection of Branca, Glass, and Love Of Life Orchestra.”
While symphonic music has changed drastically over the course of the last 250 years, the formats of its presentation, the concert, basically has not. Tino Sehgal, an artist who has redefined the format of the exhibition, creates a spatial and temporal framework for the symphony, which is as ever-changing as the music itself and can be described as a ‘choreographed space’. (From the Springdance website)
Redux is Meyer’s 17 member ensemble for which I am the baritone saxophonist. To hear an excerpt of Symphony X click here
The follow up concert to Haldern with Stargaze and My Brightest Diamond took place at the Kilkenny Arts Festival in August. The Set Theatre was packed and once again it was a fantastic concert in which we presented songs from Shara’s new album This is my Hand. The next night we performed a fabulous version of Terry Riley’s In C in St. Candice’s cathedral with special guests such as Bill Frisell.