With a multidisciplinary approach to musical performance, Simon Steen-Andersen‘s works fall between the categories of music, installation, theatre, choreography and film. His concepts aim at creating strong integration between sound and vision, sometimes quite literally, as in his latest music theatre production Walk the Walk, where the stage itself and its mechanics are eventually turned into a musical instrument. In TRANSIT, Simon Steen-Andersen sets out to do something similar, just the other way around: Turning the instrument into a stage.
In TRANSIT the tuba soloist Melvyn Poore is joined centre-stage by no less than five musicians, collaborating with him on his tuba. With magnets and objects, they perform „intra-instrumental“ choreographies and operate an endoscopic camera showing the miniature actions live on a cinema-sized screen. The actual sounds played on the tuba both constitute the „film score“ in collaboration with the rest of the ensemble as well as give life to objects and „creatures“ occupying its inner territories through physical vibrations and air-movement.
Awaiting the audience is in other words a sort of bizarre tuba concerto and/or science fiction movie in the form of a live endoscopy of the instrument, turning its insides into the stage-set for a surrealistic, cinematographic, audio-visual journey.
The first ideas for TRANSIT were conceived in 2017, at the same time as Simon Steen-Andersen received the Mauricio Kagel Music Prize for his „interdisciplinary work“ conducted with „clever strategies, fearless experiments, curiosity, humor and originality“. A part of the prize was earmarked for a new artistic project in Nordrhein-Westfalen and Simon Steen-Andersen immediately decided to use this opportunity to continue his collaboration with the Ensemble Musikfabrik, initiated in 2015 with KORPUS, composed for a small selection of the Harry Partch Instruments. In KORPUS the majority of the ensemble also collaborates on live-preparing one single instrument, the massive Marimba Eroica. The instrument is used not so much for its actual sound, but rather for its physical vibrations triggering movements and behavior of other (sounding) objects, as developed further in the new work, TRANSIT.
TRANSIT is commissioned by NOW! Festival / Philharmonie Essen. SPOR Festival in Aarhus, Denmark is co-producer and the work will be performed at SPOR Festival in May 2023.
Time and place
Simon Steen-Andersen: TRANSIT
Premiered by Melvyn Poore & Ensemble Musikfabrik
Sunday 31 October kl. 19.00
Philharmonie Essen, Germany
Info and tickets >>