At Home with Art (revised version)

Till, Nicholas (2003) At Home with Art (revised version). [Performance]

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Abstract

What does it mean when we invite the tumultuous spirit of Wagner to act as soundtrack to our everyday lives ?

In this performance all three acts of a recording of Wagner’s Tristan are played simultaneously. From three corners of the space Wagner’s music swells, surges and subsides in oceanic flux, the characters’ voices ricochet back and forth in uncanny dialogue with themselves, Wagner’s obsessive leitmotifs echo to and fro ceaselessly across the space. The performance space is arranged as a bedsit in which performer Laurence Harvey, kleinmeister of the unexpected, prepares to cook an elaborate dinner. Is he "at home with art"? We never know if he hears what we hear. But his mundane activities seem to mirror Wagner’s grandiose tragedy of passion and death. As his carefully prepared souffle - a culinary gesamtkunstwerk- rises slowly in the oven he gradually transforms himself into a woman, mixes a potent cocktail, and prepares to join himself for a lonely dinner. At the triumphant climax of Isolde’s Liebestod Harvey removes his tumescent souffle from the oven; on the final statement of Wagner’s love-death theme he seats himself at the table and watches as the souffle sinks before him.
"Very funny and very sad… It makes me cry just thinking about it again" (from BAC audience surveys)

Item Type: Performance
Additional Information: Soundings: New Music Theatre symposium. Originally presented at the Battersea Art Centre, London, 2001 Revised version shown at “Soundings” Festival, Rose Bruford College, April 2003. Conceived and devised by Kandis Cook and Nick Till. Performed by Laurence Harvey. Sound and lighting by Nick Till and Kandis Cook.
Schools and Departments: School of Media, Film and Music > Music
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Nicholas Till
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:32
Last Modified: 20 Jul 2012 10:13
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26531
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