aN eMPTY sPACE ?
- songtales for a public site
...the project offers a direct meeting between
"serious" sound art and "ordinary" people in
a wide range of circumstances. The aim is to intensify the aural
and visual attention and fantasy in the daily life....
May 22th 2000 NIKOLAJ, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center
presented the first performance of aN eMPTY sPACE?, an acusmatic
opera installation by the Danish composer Jakob Draminsky H°jmark.
After the two weeks the installation will be mounted in the
tower gallery of NIKOLAJ a mobile version of the installation
will be presented 10 times - each place one day - at a different
public site in and around Copenhagen. Places like a cental
parking lot, the aquarium, a central pedestrian area, a railway
station, a public garden, an educational institution and a
shopping mall are sites where aN eMPTY sPACE? will be performed.
The speaker system will be placed in active public spaces, in -
or out doors and the actors of the piece are those who happen to
be in or pass a spectators view during the performance.
In the live version the voices are mixed and played back in a
MAX/MSP environment. The piece is not interactive, but each
performance is manipulated differently in a continuously
changing manner by the composer.
an eMPTY sPACE ? is a three part opera, in form of an octafonic
acusmatic sound installation. The stationary version of the
installation consists of 4 stero hi-fi equipments playing back
at random 4 cds containing a total of 200 soundfiles.
The idea of the opera springs from a collection of
lectures by theatre director Peter Brook.
The acts are based on three of the four types of theatre Brook
describes in his book: the Deadly, the
Holy, the Rough.
The fourth, the
Immediate, is the ultimate aim of the opera: a direct
confrontation with the audience.
Text material for the work is picked from some of the works that
Brook refers to in each chapter.
It goes like this:
The Deadly takes its departure in
the world of Shakespeare; "King Lear", "Romeo and
Juliet" and "The Tempest". Dialogs and
phrases are cut andreorganized. The language is Danish.
The Holy is based on the
pre-surrealistic play "The Blind" by Maurice
Maeterlinck. Here ideas of Antonin Artaud about the
deconstruction of the language to pure sound are investigated.
The Rough consists of names of
characters from 20.th century
theater worksby playwrights like Beckett, Genet, Coctreu,
Brecht, Arden, Chechov etc
A total of 12 voices are in use: Three sopranos, three
altos, three tenors, two baritone and one bass. The voices
appear both "clean" and electronically/digitally
an eMPTY sPACE ? makes use of a pointelistic tone-language and
voices are the only sound sources for the piece. Each part were
developed relating to the techniques and material that Brook
describes though musical values dress and create "the
The Opera, produced by MultiSounds, is supposed to be
experienced voluntarily or by chance.
After the presentations in Copenhagen the installation will
visit 4 other Danish contemporary art centers; Museet for
Samtidskunst in Roskilde, Brandts Klaedefabrik in Odense,
Esbjerg Kunstmuseum and Trapholt close to Kolding,
In November 2000 aN eMPTY sPACE? will be presented by Teatre
Malic in Barcelona as part of there biannual opera
festival;"Opera del bolsillo".
aN eMPTY sPACE? is a co-production between MultiSounds and
NIKOLAJ, Copenhagen Contemporary Art Center, supported
byMusikteatret Undergrunden. It is made possible through funds
and grants from Kulturministeriets Udviklingsfond, DJBFA, Danish
Music Counsel, The Danish Art Foundation, and Institut
Universitari de l'Audiovisual Universitat Pompeu Fabra in