Hanna Eimermacher Music Theatre for 12 Musicians and 3 Singers

I’ve been researching and working on this project for four years.

 

I would like to create a type of musical theatre which, from the very beginning, combines elements of sound, movement, imagery, visual structures and space to offer a cumulative sensation. Therefore I organize and compose all these layers simultaneously, exploring the ways in which they can be linked and made to interact with each other. As soon as one of these elements is displaced, the overall structure also changes. This process of creative experience releases new elements – for me as well as for the musicians and their audience – and allows for new perspectives to emerge which activate and sharpen all our senses.

 

This process will start in the coming months with a phase of joint workshop-activities with the musicians of Klangforum Wien and the stage and light designer Daniel Levy.

 

For me, the musicians themselves play the role of instrument and “amplifier” simultaneously. They embody and create a world which we can access; a world beyond words and concepts. The coordinates of our bodies form the axes within space as well as spatial divisions. As the musicians perform their choreographed movements, these spaces change and shift in form. The set turns into an extension and enlargement of these spatial and acoustic axes.

 

How do I listen when light illuminates an empty cube whilst from the dark area of the stage, invisible, the sound of the whole ensemble rings out? As a rule, light directs our gaze towards what we are supposed see. When this habitual reaction is disturbed, we open ourselves at all levels, direct our focus towards each component in turn and so can experience new spaces of cognition. Visual awareness thus supports and influences the way in which we listen. Our acoustic sense changes according to the image and the movement on which the sound that we hear impinges. A colour field which appears in a certain context can, for instance, continue to sound without anyone actually playing. An ascending movement combined with a descending sound form a new, different space – one is compelled to view it completely afresh.

 

By placing such special emphasis on this kind of interaction in my composition and my mise-en-scène, the audience and the musicians are equally involved. They’ll have the opportunity to immerse themselves and to explore, and every person will generate their own spectrum of experience. My concern is not just to pass on information, but to create a lively and active space for people’s experience. Because it is the seemingly well-known things which – if they are assembled in new ways – transform themselves under close scrutiny into different, wondrous and magical objects: forms which we have not previously perceived, seen, listened to, thought through or experienced.

 

We are in need of these moments, places of freshness and immediacy, in order to be able vividly to perceive the details, their flowing and merging together. This is where it gets interesting and magical. With my music theatre I would like to invite you to join me in these places. Experience a world full of discoveries!

(Hanna Eimermacher, 2016)

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