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Virtual Cabaret

29 August 2020

19:00 - 21:00 hrs (GMT+7)

Europe at the end of the 19th century: groups of semi-amateur performers and artists gather together around a platform, using their creativity to express and share their views on the social themes of the day with audiences waiting to be entertained. Their artistic practice often challenges the established aesthetics of the day. Those gatherings end up being framed under the term ‘Cabaret’, the word itself originating in the 12th century Wallon camberete or cambret referring to a small room, emphasising the intimacy of the performance setting.

A little more than a century later, our telephones have morphed into sophisticated teleportation devices. Computer screens – framing our daily routines – have become windows through which we consume our new reality. Anyone can perform and share the fruits of their artistic efforts with any of the almost 4.57 billion people that are now connected to the www. community.

The intimacy of the cabaret stage translates well to our new digital paradigm. After all, what is more intimate than this current situation, where everyone of us can interact with others from our own living rooms ?

In those serious times, it is perhaps important to remember not to take ourselves too seriously. Playfulness and joyful adaptations to this new reality are probably very good therapy …

Performing from their living rooms, gardens or from wherever digits can be streamed, our artists will entertain your morning, evening or afternoon depending where in time you happen to be.

So join us on this journey with the online circus !

John Cage “Songbooks” (1970) is a series of 93 so-called solo pieces, some using musical notation and other dictating theatrical actions, other requiring electronic treatments. In its original form, at least 3 performers are required for the performance of those pieces, each selecting a number of solos which are then performed in any order creating many combinations of superimposed materials.

The online version presented in this program uses exclusively materials from ‘Songbook I’ interpreted by music students from the Musik Hochschule in Lübeck. The distribution of the scores was determined using chance manipulation as was the final sequencing of the video submissions.

German composer and long time PGVIS collaborator Dieter Mack will delight our online audiences with the recitation of several concrete poetry works by Christian Morgenstern and Kurt Schwitters. Those sound poems blur the boundaries between music and language; The voice shapes wordless sounds, the intentions of which could be seen as providing more meaning than the often over manipulated media content appearing on our 21st century screens. Those works were written a century ago, at a time when the European avant-garde and more specifically the DADA movement reconsidered the nature of logic and reason, rejecting the aestheticism of modern capitalist society to instead express nonsense and irrationality as a protest against the bourgeoisie.

Piyawat Louilarppasert’s ‘Tele Tele’, for electric guitar and light, explores the interactions between sonic and visual elements through the visible-virtual connectivity established between a performer, sounds, lights and video. The physical entities (live stage, instruments and lights) are filtered through digital processes augmenting the telematic version of reality, as well as giving an illusion of the real.

Berlin-based Simon Steen-Andersen’s ‘Next to Beside Besides’ for cello and percussion focuses on the performers’ motion and the physicality of their instruments in order to create layers of sonic intensity. Each performer acts in parallel motion in a similar manner to the “doppelganger” process.In this virtual  performative context, the motion and sound of the besided performer is considered as the virtual version of the other performer sitting beside.

The Thai digital artist Kittiphan Janbuala, currently based in Seoul, will be joined by the Bangkok based mime collective ‘Pantomime Life’. Using Emoticon culture as a starting point, their expression combines speechless silence and the noise of digital communication to convey a series of recently experienced emotional states.

PANTOMIME LIFE is a Annop Kitkason, Permsuk Amporncharat, Jutharat Ninlawong. Together, they aim to raise awareness for social justice and engage with social movements.

Sound artist Pattarapong Sripanya and Visual artist Nattapol Rojanarattanangkool connect their respective realities, turning sounds into shapes and colours into sounds to create a new virtual mode of expression… a continuous and ongoing process they describe as “The Unreal Circle”

Tsuna, a samurai – Ooni, a demon. Sounds familiar? Probably not, but if we mentioned that Ooni was infected, and that Tsuna was confined to a quarantine after the battle, this might resonate. Unable to meet anybody, Tsuna failed the quarantine, and let Mashiba, his crying auntie, in his house. Mashiba, a demon in disguise, recovered its arm, and readied for one last bloody battle. Enjoy this gamified story, created in 24hrs, or play it yourself here:
Tsuna was created by Enrico Bertelli and Yui Shikakura.

The Welsh poet and songwriter Jonathan Day brings us ‘Songs From a Time of Silence’, a selection of new lyrical offerings inspired by the recent isolated times: ‘my country closed its borders and everyone stayed at or near home. I spent a lot of time alone on the mountains where I live, and a lot more alone in my house, with instruments and the detritus of my days. A five month Vipassana. Many things now are uncertain, but many also, endure – mountain rooted and certain as stars. Music – flowing like a tempest or storm – indwelling memories of the life I’ve lived, exploring hopes of a world to come. Songs from a time of silence: to the rhythm of the sky, on the sands at the edge of time, dancing with the veil between worlds.’

Folk Radio has described Jonathan as “an artist who, whether through the experience of travel or through deep contemplation of his surroundings, has come to terms with his place in the world, and it is utterly beautiful.”

Calliope on Ragleth Hill
On a high hill beneath a herringbone sky an explorer dances in a tomato red thrift store dress. On the high stone a tarantella, a wind blown flamenco.

Welcome for those arriving, lament for those lost on the journey
With the Kailash Maanke String Quartet Love and loss in a time of silence – Janus faced, seeing forwards and back – in solitude and quietness looking at the life I’ve lived, and dreaming of a life to come

Lost Languages Café
I am playing – not loudly – in the corner of a café. Around me are spoken the languages of lost peoples – revived for as long as the café stays open. Looking out the window, we see the racing world – shadows dance in twilight, and so much is lost and gained – ever more quickly until the shadows swirl and are lost.

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