coreography/dance Paola Bianchi
composition for baritono solo, 3 female voices and contrabass flute Pia Palme
composition for computer and 10 speakers Electric Indigo
text Anne Waldman (USA), Ivan Fantini, Pia Palme
installation/stage design Ivan Fantini
direction Paola Bianchi
light design Paolo Pollo Rodighiero
space design Pia Palme, Paola Bianchi, Ivan Fantini
sound design Christina Bauer (A)
coproduction Suono, KosmosTheater
with agar, MA 7 Kulturabteilung der Stadt Wien, bmukk Bundesministerium fur Unterricht, Kunst und Kultur, Erste Bank
photos Paola Bianchi (1), Markus Gradwohl (2 - 15), Paolo Pollo Rodighiero (16 - 18)
The narrative power of the ingredients shows an imperturbably continuing process: the slow but inexorable collapse of opinions, language, values, things and creatures. Everything is included, everybody is included. Art re-assembles.
About the play / the concept
ABSTRIAL is radical musical theatre, in a direct and common way deeply political. This play does not want to create entertaining illusions that aim at displacement from reality but encourages the fundamentally human examination of a contemporary environment over a specifically structured period, all created by the artists.
The project derives from everyday life and the impact of the daily, continuous, slow change. An open and public design of the space in which nothing is hidden provides the framework for ABSTRIAL. This transparency stands for the basic concept of a civil, democratic social order. Palme, Bianchi, Kirchmayr and Fantini compose a merciless scenery where the audience sits down on opposite long sides. Everything is visible in this room: the audience faces itself, the protagonists utilize the entire space. Palme and Kirchmayr participate in the scene as acting composers, musicians and electronic technicians with their computers, apparatus, instruments and cables on their working tables – just like the loudspeakers, visibly hung along the centre line.
“Stage setting” or, more precisely, “space setting” is the representation of a food bank. Bianchi, Kirchmayr, Palme and Fantini ask the guests to take their places. Along the axis, there are two parts of a very long and narrow table, a pivotal point for the whole performance-space where a food installation by Ivan Fantini is staged. A huge formation of bread dough and glass dishes is served, covering the tables completely. The raw bread-dough ferments, expands and moves in the warmth of the room. The process begins slowly and imperceptibly until the first glasses start to fall as a consequence of the dough's movement. The resultant rhythm of the plummeting glasses is hardly controllable though approximately estimable. It depends, amongst other things, on the composition of the dough, the room temperature, and the presence of the heatgenerating audience. ABSTRIAL connects this material level directly to contemporary composition, electronic music and text. The made-up word ABSTRIAL is consequently a composite of "abstraction" and "material". Bread represents life. The expansion of dough demonstrates the inescapable lapse of time, the course of life. Cells age, flag, their substance remains. Energy is burnt up. Daily food becomes a metaphor for transformation and decay. Far from mechanism of consumption and market, bread dough develops a narrative power. With ABSTRIAL, a common biotic process becomes the time base of an artistic procedure. Everybody on stage – the dancer, four singers, and two musicians – is part of the piece. Voices and electronic sounds intensify, become decomposed and re-collected. The music plays with language and the tones of languages. Here too, concrete material is deconstructed and re-assembled, disrupted by punctual sound incidents. This takes place both with human voices and by electronic means. The composition interweaves three languages: English, German, Italian. Like the breaking dishes, sudden movements and sonic events puncture the ongoing. Apparent culminations are marked throughout the continuous visible and audible processes. Tipping points in a development result in outward alterations, the actual evolution persists without deviation. We will develop the exact course of events and the interaction of arts during collective rehearsals.