The leaves yellow in front of my window, golden glow in the turquoise room, time of dried hydrangea from the garden, and bringing in the fragile plants for the winter.
Feels like every time i post an update i kind of start by how fast time streams by… again we’re nearing the end of the year and i managed to never post a spring / summer update…. Well, before telling you of what is to come let me update you on the main line of what has passed, because the lines inter cross and weave themselves together into the pattern of a future, that soon will be past again.
OPera PROJECT WITH CONVERSATORY STUDENTS
The year started with an opera project for the Royal Conservatory of Brussels, working with students from the singing class, we build a piece out of fragments from Mozarts Nozze di Figaro and Idomeneo in two weeks time. It was a very gratifying experience, a true pleasure both to be working with the students as a director and to be able to share my experience as a vocal improviser, working with the group in vocal and theatrical exercises, to cohere, to shape the energy up to the performance. It was a work of love. Beautifully this year will end with a similar project, again with the conservatory students, but this time using Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte and Mitridate Re di Ponto. Looking forward to that in december, tickets available via this link.
WORKSHOP VOICE AND PERFORMANCE
Spring was sprinkled with workshops for Creatief Schrijven on Voice and Performance, a challenging workshop to explore the possibilities and power of the voice in literary / poetic performance. The participants get tools to instant create new material and then are led to transform it into various forms, opening it up to the oral and the performative. I have taught this workshop for the last two years, and will be doing so again in late winter (beginning 2016), though this time i’ve got an extra workshop day, which will make the process deeper and more relaxed. This workshop is part of Basis jaar Literair Schrijven.
THE WAVES WASH OVER THE SIGNAL OF THE INCOMING TRAIN
A trip to the beautiful Bogliasco where Nathalie Alessi and i worked on The Train Washes Over the Signal of the Incoming Train in the artist residency program in 2012, was up next. A true pleasure to see everybody again from the organization, and to spend time in that enchanting surrounding. We performed in honor of the anniversary of Alexander Skrjabin, and thus marked a beginning of performing this piece. We will be playing at the Newport Art Museum on the 1st of november in the beautiful exhibition titled “A Series of Minor Miracles” by Elizabeth Duffy and Brian Miller and at the Roger Williams University on the 5th of november and on the 22d of november in Bergamo at the In Necessità Virtù festival. Exciting times, looking forward to this experience, to meeting up with friends from over the ocean and to making new ones!
MORE OPERA AND FILM
Iceland has been in the cards again this year, With on the agenda a rerun of the Icelandic translation of Humperdinck’s Hans og Gréta with the Óp – Hópurinn group. The family performance sets the story in Iceland, where Hans og Gréta work with wool (dying, spinning etc.) to help their parents, get chased out of the house by their overworked mother for making a mess of the work, and get lured into the picture perfect house of the ‘perfect houswife’ witch…. great fun to work with Óp again, and we are planning a new show for 2016 (more about that when confirmed). There was also more shooting for Cavalcade this year, the film based on a book by Vincent Tholomé will be ready this year, very happy to be bringing this project that started in 2012 to a close.
Summer brought a frenzy of activities, family and friends visiting, going ‘back to the garden’, performances with loved collaborators Angela Rawlings and Vincent Tholomé. In de pianofabriek in Brussels, at the Festival Général Instin in Paris, exciting collaboration on a project for the Brussels Underground Poerty Fest at the Royal Planatarium in Brussels, and an exhibition at the Art Book Fair in art centre Wiels, showing a new aspect of the REaD project. Performances with of Alexandra Aerts Koningskind, with Dimos de Beun and Annelies Decock.
End of summer brought fireworks, literally… i got to direct a shortened version of Bernsteins West Side Story for Odegand, the opening day of the Festival of Flanders, Ghent. In a magical location, on water, in the heart of Ghent, with the stunning choreography of Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui, brilliant singers,…what an honor.
So now almost ready to leave to the States, on the 28th of oktober, the day before Nathalie Alessi and i leave, i’ll be performing with Godfried Willem Raes’s robot orchestra in Logos. Kristof Lauwers and i are preparing a piece for the Tekstuur concert, where i’ll be reading/improvising from one of my giant ‘action’ books from the REaD series, while my voice interacts / triggers the robots. First time i’ll be working with the orchestra, looking forward.
On november 18th Soundings#3 will take place in St John on Bethnal Green, London, a collaboration with the amazing Steven Fowler, one of his intriguing projects to quote him: “Each edition of Soundings will begin with Wellcome library staff using their expertise to suggest items – including images, manuscripts and books – from the Library’s collections in response to a title inspired by the Hubbub‘s research strands and initiated by Hubbub curators James Wilkes, Felicity Callard and Kimberley Staines. These prompts will form the basis for the public performances of sound poetry, sonic art or conceptual performance, devised each time by myself and my collaborator.”
The end of the year will bring a new production for the Symphonny Orchestra of Flanders – Ali Baba. A new concept devised with Myriam De Wit, where the orchestra takes on the role of the 40 bandits, and the kids in the audience get to play Ali Baba. A show full of surprising interactivity, an oriental market, and stunning music, let’s not forget the music! orchestrated by Martin Valcke, based on Rimsky Korsakov’s Sheherazade. Costumes by my beloved Satu Peltoniemi, who has already accompanied me on many projects, and always knows how to translate the concept into more magic.