Song Circus is a Norwegian chamber ensemble of professional and improvising singers. The ensemble is specializing in the interpretation of contemporary music.
FREEDOM O(R) SPEECH
- I Solisti del Vento, Red Note Ensemble, Song Circus
- Actor: Jan Decleir and Simon Callow
- Conductor: Etienne Siebens
Angela Merkel is a Wagner enthusiast, Barack Obama listens to Bob Dylan and Vladimir Putin enjoys Russian folk music. Still sounds are seldomly a point of concern for politicians. But if choirs can topple a government and symphonies can discourage an army, then music is more than purely pleasure. In ancient China the first emperor of a new dynasty determined which pitch was in harmony with the cosmos. And in his ‘Republic’ Plato regarded only Phrygian and Doric scales to be politically correct: all others threatened the ideal civilisation.
Dutch composer Louis Andriessen took Plato’s text as the initial concept for a cantata which forms a fist against rigid forms of government with energetic rhythms and recalcitrant chords. Andriessen’s ‘De Staat’ (The Republic) is both a accusation against the soulless and suffocating totalitarianism which Plato defends and a reflection on his musical convictions. Andriessen seems to say with his explosive minimalism: everything a composer puts to paper is filled with political, social or religious meaning.
Thereof Mauricio Kagel was also convinced. Everything this Argentinian German composed is a politically tinged mockery of musical history. In ‘Der Tribune’ (The Tribune) – an audio play for political orator, marching sounds and speakerphone – Kagel twists Andriessen’s rhythmical tightness to a virtuously absurdist monologue, soaked with comical rage and disdainful indignation. Demagogy, misleading the people and egotripping are merged with marching band music with oom-pah-pah coppers and tickling woods.
We place both these analyses of the political system – one razor sharp, the other viciously joyful – right next to each other. A new text by writer Dimitri Verhulst to Kagel’s music hurrays the dawn of a new political age with malicious merriment: ‘The future beckons, the sky is clearing and even the roses are turning blue. Tomorrow, tomorrow is mine and yours.’
A production of I Solisti del Vento in collaboration with Red Note Ensemble, Song Circus and Sound Festival with concerts Scotland, Belgium and The Netherlands
With the kind support of: Aberdeen City Council’s Made in Aberdeen programme, Creative Scotland National Lottery Funding, Music Norway and Arts Council Norway
“the three ensembles closed with a blisteringly visceral account of the budgeoning dissonances of Louis Andriessen’s notorious De Staat. It proved a fittingly powerful, provocative and confident, internationally focused conclusion to sound’s thrillingly ambitious weekend.”
“An extraordinary work. What impressed me immediately is the immensely detailed and microtonal spectrum. A world full of nuances and small gestures that make up one giant musical construction in twelve movements. One can dwell endlessly in this strange world. Complex, and above all utterly beautiful.”
Live recording from our impro concert on the 21st of Desember (2016)