Technical and musical set up
For the set up the room was divided into two boxes with a 5 x 7 metre white tarp, connected to theceiling. In the inner box, behind the singer and the pianist, a line of RGB lights was arranged on a line of tables. The lights were controlled by a soft ware reacting to the musical dynamics and allowing for live looping and programming conducted by the light designer, who was sitting in the first box, in the visiters’ area.Impromans has worked with the light designer, Langerbeck, on many occasions before. However, in those cases it has been in stage performances, where the light has the function of guiding and strenghtening the visitors’ attention versus the narrative and expressions from stage.
In the Facet labs, we aimed for the light to play the main part in the visual format, not the other way around. As it was a new soft ware, several technical issues occurred during the work. This affected the concentration in the improvisations, as the contact and presence in the improvisational process at hand is very important. The two labs with music and light sessions lasted 30-40 minutes, followed by discussions with the visitors. during the the second lab, the improvisers could see themselves projected as shadows on a screen while they played.
The search for contact
In the musical work during the labs, several sources of inspiration were explored. Apart from the repertoire by Stenhammar and Schumann, we worked with movements inspired by Laban and images projected on the tarp. But to me as improviser it was as if these inputs could not replace the contact that so easily got lost between us as improvisers. This is partly because I at those points also had lost contact with my own imagination and inner images.
In my opinion the contact between me and Antonov became vulnerable in this technological context. It may have to do with the physical space offering such contrasting discourses and perf-ormative actions based on technical skills and interactions with the soft ware. Adding a technical device into our interactional process creates friction which delays, or detaches
the contact between us as actors at times, leaving way for inner
reflections, evaluations and sometimes self critique in the course of playing. Instead of being able to alter subject positions in a
musical or narrative context, I found myself stuck in my individual position.
The space for the visiters led the thoughts to a lab, or perhaps a crime scene. The white, whispering tarpaulin made the visitors to stand out visually in contrast to the surrounding floor and walls, as opposed to in a black box, where the audience is hidden in the dark. The tarpaulin also effectively hindered the musicians from all forms of audience interaction or contact with the light designer.
The movements of Facets of Sorrow (Facet Lab 2).
An analysis of the November performance documentation shows how the improvisers created a narrative structure based on the movements
in Schumann’s song cycle.
Frauenliebe und Leben
(R. Schumann/A. von Chamissso)
1) Seit ich ihn gesehen: dreaming of love
2) Er, der herrlichste: joy of longing
3) Ich kann’s nich fassen: chock
4) Du Ring: calm confidence
5) Helft mir ihr Schwestern: nervous joy
6) Süsser Freund: calm happiness
7) An meinem Herzen: joy of love
8) Nun hast du mich den ersten Schmerz
getan: feeble from chock
Facets of sorrow
(improvisations and fragments of Frauenliebe und Leben)
1) Beginning – Seit ich ihn gesehen: dream
2) Every night: face to face with self
3) Steht sein Bild: dream
4) How can I miss someone: rage
5) So many days, glaub ich: memories
6) How could I be so stupid: rage
7) Seit ich ihn: dream
8) The rain is falling down: purification
9) Allover, everywhere: dwelling
10) It’s really disgusting with people who hope too much:
other people’s comments.
11) Cantilena: dwelling on sorrow
12) Da hab’ ich dich: beginning of morendo, lost in sorrow
Due to a hard drive crash, unfortunately most of the documentation from the second Facet lab performance are lost.