"A mind-movie for the 21st century"
—MDR Figaro radio
"A powerful experience of a somehow non-existent piece"
Text: Samuel Beckett
Music: Morton Feldman
Director: Sven Sören Beyer
Soprano: Laura Aikin
Music: Christian Steinhäuser
Art meets technology in this groundbreaking 3D audio reworking of non-conformist opera, NEITHER. In the first opera of its kind in the world, Germany’s renowned multimedia group phase7 performing.arts uses over 60 speakers, wave field synthesis techniques, computer software and pioneering audio technologies to form a virtual orchestra that interacts with a soprano singing live on stage. Surrounded by speakers, the audience hears the ebbs and flows of the music while dazzling beams of light stream forth from the centre of the stage, as if heading into the very depths of the universe. Sound is disembodied, words lose their meaning, as an enigmatic world of sensory illusions floats in the ambivalent realm of “neither”. A stunning treat for the eye and ear that is ahead of its time.
Premièred in 1977, the original Neither arose from an intriguing conversation between two artistic masters. The discussion saw American avant-garde composer Morton Feldman invite Nobel Prize-winning playwright Samuel Beckett to pen an opera. Feldman said he had no idea what he wanted and Beckett declared his disdain for traditional opera. A few weeks later, Feldman received a postcard from Beckett containing a poem of 87 words—which went on to become the libretto of Neither, the 20th century’s most progressive and unconventional opera—or “anti-opera” as most music critics tend to describe it.
DELUSIONS II defies our conventional sensory universe. Noise, odours, light, temperature… subconsciously, our mind is continuously assessing the everyday environment to check all is well. In this work, Christian Steinhäuser, musical director of phase7 performing.arts, employs cutting-edge 3D sound system to create an auditory perception disorder that breaks the norms of hearing and challenges the limits of human listening. The world première in Germany received an overwhelming response.
Approx 1 hour and 25 minutes with an intermission of 20 minutes
Audience members are strongly advised to arrive on time.
Latecomers will not be admitted until the interval.
Meet-the-artist session after the performance on 2 November
Please click here for details of lecture demonstration
Photos: Vitoscha Königs