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Voices for the Crisis

„voices for the crisis“
jörg ritzenhoff,
composer, performer
soundinstallation / performance
„voices for the crisis“ is a sound installation and a performance for room acoustics in three parts. the audience will be situated in the middle of a room, surrounded by sound. The piece deals with the theme of crisis on different aspects and on different thematic layers, but in special about the crisis in europe, about the crisis in utopia and how to handle the crisis, melancholia, sadness, phlegm or depression. so i’am using single voices as metaphor for a personal and authentic crises. in special this is also a form of portrait. the artists and people from the lab in montemor and this old people in the second part.
Part 1: „fadofade“ – 4channel sound installation
During the Tryangle-Lab in montemor I realised a project together with 16 participants about sadness, melancholy and memory, called „fadofade“. The project began asking all participants to sing a sad and touching song in their own language. The song should deal with melancholy or memories or should have a kind of „patina“. First impulse was to deal with clichés about Portugal and the tradition of Fado as reference to sadness and melancholy. In fact, two of the portuguese participants song beautiful fados and I decided to bring this songs together with the sad songs from other countries, sweden, france, scotland, poland and so on – because each culture has a kind of tradition in sad or melancholic songs. after the record I created pairs by chance, for example the portuguese with the french, the polish with the german and so on. now the task was to copy a song: to sing a song in a language, you don’t speak and with an unknown melody. Each artist had the chance to listen to the foreign song 2-3 times and then he/she had to sing it directly without rehearsing. the recording had a very authentic and intense quality.
By using this material i composed a sound installation with a duration of 15 minutes, situated in the yard of the convento in montemor. The installation generated a very intense quality as a kind of „choir“ consisting of different voices, languages, „fake languages“ and short excerpts of memories and created a very condense atmosphere of an undefinable beauty and sadness.
Part 2: „n-monologue“ – 4channel sound installation / livetalk / electronic I want to rework a text i wrote some years ago. This text i a s free text adaption of Friedrich Nietzsche. This way of re-enterpreting a text is in german called “nachdichtung”. This text depends of a european man who laments about Europe and articulates his doubts about the idea of Europe. He articulates a great desire for the desert, the african heart, the animal and wildness and so on. before my father died some years ago, I asked him to read this text and i recorded it. At this time he was ill and had a apoplexy before and sound of his voice and his articulation war really damaged. On the base of this sound recording I want to continue and record „old voices“ in different European languages(french, portuguese, french, german) and to compose a kind of sound collage. The pre-recorded sounds will be combined with live-electronics and a live-performance (2 singer), performing texts live, interviewing and commenting the pre-recorded sounds and text layers.
Part 3: „speeches in crisis“ – live singing / live electronic / livetalk a third part depends on speeches of european politicians about the actual crisis in portugal, greece, spain, german, france. out of this I want to make a libretto which is sung by 2 or 3 singers. I think about working with the same principles like in „fado fade“, that means to pass a speech to another person and this performer tries to „copy“ the original speeches, even if he dont speak or understand the foreign language or the content of the speech, but in a more musical way, more free, not so near and so tender. This will be combined with live talk about the crisis and with live-electronics. this part is like the first part a cooperation with the artists I met in Montemor.