Workshop C: DAY 1: Going deeper
Updated: Dec 29, 2018
The RE-FUSE team met again in Utrecht for the platform's third workshop. While in Workshop A there was plenty scenic material generated, and during Workshop B most got further explored and put together in a draft performance, in Workshop C the team focused on a single material and the different ways they can approach and work with it on stage.
Below are the notes of some of the team's members, on deciding which materials to move on with:
1. I guess one obvious thing that could be explored is Pepe's piece. It’s a really compact and clear to our minds part. What we can do is explore further musical qualities in it apart from the rhythm and the volume that we did a bit in the end. One thing that is interesting is the matter of understanding. In theatre there is a need for "understanding" the text whatever that means, whereas in music that is not the case.
2. Another thing that is really interesting to me as far as speech and music is concerned is to explore the musical qualities of everyday spoken word as it is for example in the first minute of the video with you speaking to the people. We can decode somehow an everyday recording and see/understand/go deep in the musical qualities there are in spoken word.
Pepe´s numbers with labyrinth movement and Greek speech chorus
● Proposed title: CAN I ENTER?
● Good: great togetherness and excitement about this rhythm piece. A moment in the presentation where there was a true drive. Very clearly composed, but still exciting because of the control that Pepe had live. Nice try in making the chorus physical.
● To be explored: How tight can we be in this piece? Not just in rhythm, but also in voice color. And why are we moving? Could the moving become a part of the music? Could the music change according to the music? Musically: we were rushing - do we want this, or should we be very strict?
Els singing over Mahoud with mirrors
● Proposed title: REFLEXION
● Good: great music choice reflected the content of text without copying it; one became soundtrack for the other. Also the visual representation with the mirrors was very promising. Here, movement, sound and speech were very in sync.
● To be explored: balance between text, music, movement. (When does one medium become so heavy that it overpowers the other? Where exactly is the balance between one-on-one connection of the different mediums - e.g. music follows exactly the text -, or total disconnection? When do we as an audience stop connecting them?)
I like how it opened up and words became sound. We just played with the transformation of words into sound and we just continued exploring in the sound realm, very naturally. We could just experiment with opening different words from a text and see where else we can go with it.
Of course, Pepe's numbers. Very powerful. We can find different words that match the numbers and say them all at the same time, or have options, orchestrate in different ways. Have soloists (spoken) etc. Could we develop a kind of gradual kaleidoscopic change of sounds (words) within Pepe's structure?
Intro Thanasis to public: I love the communication in a language I don’t understand, with some words in English I can understand and grab on, and how the rest of the performers is not interested and busy with their stuff… Maybe it could become a group of performers reacting on words they understand…
first text grandfather Els: the repeating of words gives a musical pattern (working this would be interesting, constructing musical patterns with language of which you don’t know the meaning…) I don’t like the playing of not understanding of failure of pronunciation, is a bit fake… But suddenly the help of people who seem to understand the language… is interesting… even if you don’t understand it as an audience…
My main feeling now is that the more abstract it gets, the stronger it gets... So the challenge is how to get rid of the meaning of text and that it becomes music... In a construction, it could become a structure so it evokes movement...
How would our movement get influenced by a text we hear (with our ears or a text that is inside our minds) and how can we explore the floor in a more lyrical or melodic way?
Who triggers who?
What is we explore the Rhythmical layers (voice, movement) and try to make clearer the points of overlap and emphasise the edges?
1. Kharms’ Cantata
2. Chimonas’ text + Pepe’s numbers
3. bonus: Welcome, which I never forget and has an interest on connecting language with music
The above all while developing the way of work we have already applied on them, playing with the limits of the musicality and meaning of the words themselves. I would add the independence and differentiation of the body. Lately I have a great interest on how not to move on or according to the meaning of what I say or listen to, but rather on the music or rhythm that comes out of it.
The musicality of the floor. I’m done with the rooms, at least being physically there. There’s too much division. I would like to have stations though. We managed to make an environment out of nothing.
I don’t like what we did with dio kopelies, but I liked the material. However, it needs a lot of rehearsal to become something. I like the way Efthimis uses his energy on stage and every time he was speaking. But I didn’t like the parts where the story becomes illustrated on stage (e.g. welcome scene).
layers of shadows + puppet master (myself). It articulates different parts on stage, there’s space for interaction, visually you tell a story and can connect it with the actors who can interact / interfere.
We have the tendency to respect everything in order to not fuck up - we go with the others and never against. I’d like to figure out on stage how to have contrasts. E.g. what we did was: if Els sings in a certain way then we all move / play accordingly. The only point of contrast was when the large curtain of the stage went up behind the audience, revealing the empty hall towards the end. So I’m interested in making bigger contrasts. It’s important to be together and feel together, but it’s also important to shake it up and go somewhere else.
1. WELCOME WELCOME
The ‘welcome’ scene is very strong: I don’t think it can be transformed into the music & speech thing, it’s too literal and theatrical. But quite successful. The theme of inclusion, safety,
2. BORO NABO PARA KALO
The scene with everyone shouting. I like the way the language is broken down into sometimes just phonemes and their relationship to the rhythms. I also like the fact we all have same roles, all made ‘equal’ (except Pepe). I think we could experiment more there. Of course Greek is a very good language for this music. But also Dutch and English could be tried. Perhaps using the texts we have. We could even choose sounds and create a language for ourselves. If our theme is music & speech, then we should ALL use the language with which we are able to use ARTISTICALLY.
For me I would make the following changes to the project:
a) no more ‘rooms’. anything can take place anywhere
b) no more ‘claps’, it is a controlling force that for me has a very amateurish and not very interesting effect on stage.
c) the use of some objects or props. i think this would balance the presence of the musical instruments, which are actually the only ‘objects’ on stage. I suppose then we have to think about the situation: domestic? mythological? natural? industrial? surrealistic? I’m sure Roelof has ideas about this.
d) Roelof has ultimate power to change the scenery how he likes. I liked all the unexpected changes in the video, but he could also move stage elements around to constantly change the playing field. i think this is one further way of exploring the notion of an interactive music theatre.
A two-page-long fragment from D. Kharm's book Cantata was chosen as a case study for Workshop C. The team named this fragment Two Women (Dio Kopelies) and decided to work on the text itself, its musicality, the body presence, the way music instruments can be introduced on stage, the ways the scenography can be a dynamic one, with which the performers can interact.
Two video excerpts of DAY 1: