Experimental music theatre
Dramaturgy and co-stage direction
World première October 2016
at the Festival of Contemporary Music of the Biennale di Venezia
Composition and musical scenes: Alexander Chernyshkov
Stage direction: Wolfgang Nägele
Technical assistance: Oleg Dergilev
Performers: Márton Kovács, Lucas Moreiro Cardoso, Giulia Beatini, Alicia Paredes, Matthieu Mantanus, Emil Kuyumkuyan, Justin Frieh, Daniele Fasani, Mario Mariotti
As Immanuel Kant had famously said: “There are two things that don’t have to mean anything; one is music, and the other is laughter.” The challenge is to create something which is not just „funny“, but deals with the humour and laughter on a deeper scale, as a profound and absurd feeling, which, similar to art and love, makes us experience the lightness and simplicity of reality without losing its complexity.
The idea makes reference to the meta-genre. A story is being told about how the same story is created and told. This expedient has many examples in cinema, theatre and literature (Pirandello, Fellini, Greenaway, Pollesch, McDonaugh, BriTANick, Wurm), but very few in music…The „libretto“ is the description of the piece and is itself the story. Every word in the text is a commentary, the text and the opera itself. All performers, musicians and singers are at the same time “actors” that play themselves. Everything that happens is a continuous feed-back on itself. The linearity is converted into architecture and the whole piece could be better described as the „investigation inside the moment of now“.
Six languages are used: Italian, English, Hungarian, French, Turkish and Portuguese. A constant and unusual communication takes place between the performers. A communication always on the borderline between real words/intentions that seem to „mean something“ and the realization that „it’s all just sounds“. From the mixture of different languages a new fantasy language is composed. It plays and fools with our perception and our will to find a meaning in everything. Our addiction to think and the absurdity of this addiction.
The score creates an acoustic situation, that comes SO deceptively close to reality, that you’d think this IS the reality that you are mistaking for a musical piece, except that you know you are wrong. A theatrical illusion, that continuosly stumbles with intentional and accurately notated mistakes, so that you are never sure if it is on purpose or not. Only that you know it IS.
A musical transcription of reality, which is another transcription of reality, which is another transcription of itself. The reality (in theatre) is a mistake. A set-up mistake. A transcribed mistake.
…a transcription of a mistake…
“The most significant moment of the Biennale College in the previous days was “Trascrizione di un errore” by Alexander Chernyshkov, worthy of the surreal theatre of Schnebel and Kagel (…) Perhaps a visual music is not yet conceived? But in fact, even if in a strict sense the vocal and instrumental music are almost absent, there is a precise gestural score: the gestures and the scenic actions are rigorously, musically and analytically composed. A comicality that vanishes in emptiness.” Mario Messinis, Classic Voice