50th Anniversary of the DAAD Artists-in-Berlin Program at the Akademie der Künste, Berlin
At the DAAD’s invitation, on 7.12.2013 Les Femmes Savantes, together with the Swedish trio Faint Noise (Malin Bång, Karin Hellquist, Anna Petrini), designed a portion of a thematic evening program on the topic of “realities.”
schleusen 1 – 5
Five compositions by Les Femmes Savantes commissioned by the DAAD
schleusen 1 – 4 are four compositions that Les Femmes Savantes developed especially for the lobby of the AdK. The idea was to use sound-interventions to convert the acoustic world of the foyer into a hyperrealistic space.
Ercklentz’ Intervention (schleuse 1) took place in the AdK Café. Sitting at a table amid the audience, Ercklentz acoustically colored the café’s interior with objects (plate, silverware, glasses), with sounds from the amplified bar and with recorded sound.
Neumann’s Intervention (schleuse 2) was located in the coat check, which was likewise amplified. The hanging of hangers triggered standing, Zithery sounds that overlapped and accumulated as the number of hangers increased, densifying into an oscillating plane. In the sense of a short excursion into the surreal, this installation-like situation was interrupted several times by a performative insert where Neumann, with gestures underlined by recorded sounds, took a hanger handed to her by the coat check attendant and threw it from right to left in a slapstick manner, ending the sequence by hanging it.
Wassermann’s Intervention (schleuse 3) for voice, Paetzold contrabass recorder (Anna Petrini) and miniature speaker corresponded with the sounds of the bar area. Wassermann moved a miniature speaker in front of a microphone while the speaker emitted a composed atmosphere made of field recordings of liquids, including sounds like bubbling and fizzing, the popping and whizzing of champagne corks, the chinking of ice cubes. These sounds mingled with the live performance of voice and Paetzold recorder to create an acoustic image.
Rodriguez’ Intervention (schleuse 4) happened on the grand staircase that connects the foyer with the first floor. The violinist Karin Hellqvist moved up and down the stairs, partially visible to the audience, partially invisible, yet always audible. She was equipped with a sound belt comprised of mini speakers and an mp3 player that played electronically processed violin sounds, which she in turn accompanied by playing live violin.
schleusen 1 – 4 took place during the intermission between two blocks of the anniversary evening program. The foyer’s acoustic space was complexified and colored through the interventions, resulting in the emergence of a new reality. This acoustic space was streamed live in the concert hall during the intermission.
schleusen 5 took place on stage in the concert hall. As the musicians entered the hall with the preproduced intervention sounds playing simultaneously, the acoustic borders between foyer (“colored reality”) and concert hall (“art”) were blurred. The sounds from the interventions continually appeared as quotes in the composition schleusen 5 (for trumpet, violin, voice, Paetzold contrabass recorder, inside piano and recorded sound).