Patricia Alessandrini explains the work process of Mondgewächse, the influence of the ensembles during the whole time as well as the poetic and visual ideas behind the new piece.
The entire form of the piece is developed from discussions with the In:fluence Ensemble, with the idea of Mondgewächse as a starting point. Mondgewächse takes its name from two pieces by Arnold Schönberg: his influential Pierrot Lunaire, and the much less well-known, very brief and unusual piece Herzgewächse. From discussing the poetry and ideas of these pieces, we came up with ideas for a performance that would be both organic and otherworldly.
There is a sense of weightlessness
With the video designer Freida Abtan, we had at first discussed a sort of garden which would grow with the music; in further discussions with the In:fluence Ensemble, it was decided that the performers themselves would be the ‘monoplants’, represented in drawings, video projections, and shadows. Sonically and visually, there is a sense of weightlessness.
Juxtapositions of ideas
The text for Mondgewächse was also developed collaboratively by the In:fluence Ensemble, using a process of homophonic translation. Lines from Pierrot Lunaire were read in French and ‘translated’ on the spot into Swedish or English by the participants, with each participant translating one line at a time in a sort of ‘cadavre esquis’ order, using just the sound of the text rather than the sense of the words. This created some spontaneous juxtapositions of ideas, strangely beautiful poems with a strong sonic interest.
An interface which makes both sound and colour
In the performance itself, the score unfolds as the images of the performers bodies take shape in the painting and video projection, and are dependent upon its forms and colours. There is also a ‘colour organ’, an interface which makes both sound and colour. This is also the realisation of an idea of one of the members of the In:fluence Ensemble.
The process of rehearsals has already yielded the poems which comprise the text of the work, but also a series of paintings, as each performance of the work results in a new painting by one of the members of the In:fluence Ensemble.
Patricia Alessandrini, October 16, 2014From workshop to rehearsals on to the big stage!