Two working tracks are defined for this new creation. First, the company’s studio filmed archives. Many hours of work were recorded on cassettes (mini DV and other archaic formats). Thomas Hauert first desire is to immerse himself in this material in order to draw from it the multiple artistic paths that are found there and that have never been used or deepened by ZOO. Not in a nostalgic or historical perspective but to reclaim these experiments and intuitions. The intention is to experiment, analyse, confront and develop them with the company’s experience and perspective, to treat them as raw material from another era.
This principle reappears in the soundtrack, which will be based on Thirteen Harmonies (1985), a work by John Cage for violin and keyboard, notably in the recording of violinist Annelie Gahl and keyboardist Klaus Lang (keyboard Fender Rhodes). The Thirteen Harmonies is a transcription for two instruments of a larger work entitled Apartment House 1776, written during the bicentennial celebrations of the independence of the United States in 1976. For Apartment House 1776, Cage took 44 choral pieces from a group of colonial composers, including William Billings, and subjected their diatonic harmony to a random screening process. As Cage explains: “The cadences and other elements have disappeared, but the flavour has remained. You can recognize it as 18th century music; but it is suddenly brilliant in a new way. This is because each sound vibrates by itself and not by a theory. Roger Zahab, a violinist, asked Cage if some of this work could be done alone on violin and piano and he agreed. Far from the naive optimism and unshakable faith (in God, in oneself and in the conquest of American lands) that the original hymns breathe, Thirteen Harmonies sounds become both recognizable and strange, haunted by mysterious silences, they evoke hesitation, doubt, vulnerability and regret.
Concept & direction Thomas Hauert
Created & iperformed by Thomas Hauert, Liz Kinoshita, Sarah Ludi, Federica Porello, Samantha Van Wissen, Mat Voorter
Musique Thirteen Harmonies (1985), John Cage and other musics (in progress)
Light Bert Van Dijck
Sound Bart Celis
Scenography Bert Van Dijck, Chevalier-Masson, ZOO
Production ZOO/Thomas Hauert, DC&J Creation
Coproduction Théâtre les Tanneurs, Bruxelles (BE) / Charleroi Danse, Centre Chorégraphique de la Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles (BE), Festival de Genève – La Bâtie (CH), Centre Chorégraphique National d’Orléans – direction Maud Le Pladec (FR)
Support Fédération Wallonie-Bruxelles – Service de la danse / Pro Helvetia – Fondation suisse pour les arts / Ein Kulturengagement des Lotterie-Fonds des Kantons Solothurn / Wallonie-Bruxelles International / and the tax-shelter of the belgian federal government