Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lovely Lofoten

In the beginning of June I went to Stamsund in Lofoten, Norway. I haven't ever been quite so far up in the North before. Wow. It was beautiful.

Up there

We took part in annual international theater festival in Stamsund with "Imitation of Life" by Boris Nikitin. Stamsund is a sleepy fishing village with population of 1100 people. Little red houses everywhere and countless fishing boats. The smell of air-dried cod in the air.


I didn't have so much information about the location and the festival before getting there, but it turned out to be a very pleasant surprise. One can really tell that the people responsible for this festival really enjoy what they are doing and do it with passion. They took really good care of us. I haven't ever experienced three meals a day and free yoga lessons for participants =). And our very own little red house as accomodation. I'd love to go again...

Nallu, my faithful traveling companion

It is also lovely that they try to engage the whole village to this festival event. It all started on an opening day with a procession through the village with marching band, local school kids doing gymnastics, local choir singing. So it's definitely not just and higly artistic bubble that happens to appear into the village for a while, but rather an event for all the locals also. And an opportunity to mingle and make new friends from all around Europe.

Or meet old ones... That was rather unexpected, though. On a last little plane from Bodö to Leknes. I was just sitting there and waiting for the take-off, when a friend and a colleaque from Finland slouches in. I hadn't seen him in approximately seven years. Could been in Tibet... But nonetheless, there he was and bound to take part on the same festival as me. How small is the world actually.... So cool. Kimmo: It was great to have a chance to exchange the latest. Hope to see U soon again. =)

Fjelds, or arctic hills, if U like

I had quite some free time while there also, so I went to see other performances. I saw pretty nice things, but one of them really stood out. This was a sound installation called "Ghost - Echoes of a Life" on an island of Törnholm just outside the village. One needs to take a short rubber boat trip to get there and then you get a mp3-player and a head-set. The installation is a site specific audio-walk that takes you around the little island in a strange world of The Maker. Without going into the details of the story they tell you, I just need to say that the soundscape was just amazing. Very threedimensional and convincing in every detail and layer.

Törnholm island

Yeah. Stamsund and Lofoten was quite something else. And the midnight sun... It was so funny to observe the other members of our team to experience it for the first time. They vere going positively bananas about it =) =). Well, I admit, it is pretty amazing. And I hadn't realized how much I had missed it. And the sound of the seagulls (this I thought would never happen...)

More fjelds

It also seems that we were extremely lucky with weather. It is highly uncommon that the days are so warm and sunny for many days in the row. But for us it was quite pleasant indeed. Clear blue skies and temperature over 20 deg Celcius.

In the harbor

Buoys in the midnight

it aint over till its over

My newest production with bigNOTWENDIGKEIT premiered in late May in Berlin.

This turned out to be an approximate 90 minutes performance, in which Esther Becker creates a chain of associations that pulsate around the theme of how and why things come to an end. Danijela Milijic is creating an excistence of her own by monotonic and ceaseless counting.

Since this was not a theatrical set up as such anymore, the request for light and sound was somewhat bit different also. Me and sound designer Alice Ferl were asked to produce a different level of being with our media. The space was turned into an experimental laboratory where we try out and execute our own compositions and adaptations of possible "ends".

I used quite a lot of very subtle chasers and painstakingly slow fades to interact and contrapunkt with the soundscapes Alice created. As result we have a space which has a life of it's own and is swaying, pulsating and flickering in a barely noticeable way. Everything is also run manually, so no two shows are quite the same and there is always room for improvisation and possibility to interact with Esther. 

All this is obviously quite impossible to see in a 2D photographs, but I will try to post a video as soon as the editing is finished to sample the idea better.

Description in German by bigNOTWENDIGKEIT:
"Das Ende ist präsent. Szenarien vom Ende begleiten uns täglich. Unermüdlich werden Enden proklamiert. Es ist das Ende der Geschichte, das Ende des Klassenkampfes, das Ende der Philosophie, das Ende des Christentums und der Moral, das Ende des Subjekts, das Ende des Menschen, das Ende des Abendlandes, das Ende des Ödipus, das Ende der Welt, Apocalypse now...

...Die Apokalypse gehört zu unserem Handgepäck. Sie ist ein Aphrodisiakum. Und sie ist ein Angsttraum. Sie ist eine Ware wie jede andere. Sie tritt uns in allen möglichen Gestalten und Verkleidungen entgegen, als warnender Zeigefinger und als wissenschaftliche Prognose, als Weckruf und als Produkt der Unterhaltungsindustrie, als Aberglauben, als Vexierbild, als Kick. Sie ist allgegenwärtig aber nicht wirklich: eine unaufhörliche Produktion unserer Fantasie, eine Katastrophe im Kopf. bigNOTWENDIGKEIT fassen das Ende näher ins Auge....


...Was ist das Faszinierende am Ende? Warum wird es bemüht? Was macht Enden zu Enden? Und was endet je wirklich? Ist die letzte Schwalbe das Ende des Sommers? Ist die erste Lüge das Ende der Liebe? Ist das Ende eines Romans der letzte Satz? Ist das Ende eines Films die letzte Szene oder der Moment, wenn der Abspann vorbei ist und das Licht im Kinosaal wieder angeht? Ideen von, Erinnerungen an und die Angst vor Enden werden befragt und ertragen. bigNOTWENDIGKEIT untersuchen ausgesuchte Enden aus Literatur, Film, Historie und Kunst auf ihre verschiedenen Qualitäten. Was lehren sie über Aufhören, Weitermachen und Neu-Anfangen?....

...Enden können Angst machen und sie können erleichtern. Sie können etwas wegnehmen, aber auch den Weg für etwas Neues öffnen. Erst vom Ende her können wir Dinge deuten und bewerten. Erst das Ende schafft Struktur und ermöglicht Anschauung. Soviel steht fest: ob angekündigt oder überraschend, ersehnt oder gefürchtet, unvermeidbar oder herbeigeführt: Das Ende ist nie eine Tatsache, sondern immer eine gedeutete Tatsache vor dem Horizont anderer Tatsachen...

...Der letzte Vorhang ist noch nicht gefallen. Und ist nicht das Interesse für das Ende ein leidenschaftliches Interesse für´s Weitergehen, für die Fortsetzung, die Umkehr, den Anfang, für ein Leben in größerer Fülle als bisher? Ob angekündigte Weltenden, das Ende der Kindheit, das Ende der DDR, ob Black, Tod, das Happy End, der Abschied, Zerfall, der Vorhang, der Countdown, das Fade Out, der Schlussakkord, die Katastrophe, die Lösung oder die Vollendung – in Gesten, Erzählungen und Bildern werden Enden von bigNOTWENDIGKEIT heraufbeschworen, seziert, zelebriert, und neu montiert....

...Der Countdown läuft. Das Ende ist nah."

Regie: bigNOTWENDIGKEIT (Anna K. Becker & Katharina Bischoff)
von & mit: Esther Becker, Danijela Milijic
Dramaturgie: Heike Pelchen
Bühne: Ina Vera
Licht: Minna Heikkilä
Musik/Sound: Alice Ferl
Assistenz: Anne Herwanger
Produktionsleitung: ehrliche arbeit - freies kulturbüro

Next show dates:
18., 19., & 20. September:    Rote Fabrik Clubraum, Zürich, CH