The Position of Language

ART.ZIP: Do you have any interesting projects recently?

PB: In June we have an unusual project combining music theatre with conceptual street art. It is called ‘The Tights Ball’ and is a collaboration between MAMT, Platform 7 and two artists, Anna Kompaniets and Lenka Horakova. We have collected old tights from colleagues and the public, in the street. Along with them we have collected many stories. Some of those stories will be performed with music and theatre in the streets of Camden on June 21 & 22. The giant ball of recycled tights that the artists have made will be in the performance which will have a Camden rubbish truck as a functioning part of the set. Our approach to music theatre crosses into other genres, which is typical in Europe.

On a more traditional level, our production of ‘The Beggars’ Opera’, which we premiered earlier this year, has been invited to the Zhongguancun International Musical Festival in Beijing. ‘The Beggars’ Opera’ dates from 1728 and is often talked of as the first musical ever; our version has original music by myself and others in the cast. Also invited is a work of mine called ‘El Gallo’. It was commissioned by a Mexico-based theatre company, Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes who have performed it well over one hundred times across the US, Latin America and Europe. It is for six actors and two string quartets but it has no text, no words in any language. The syllables that are sung are all nonsense and invented by me. But not to confuse the audience, but rather to allow the music, theatre and dance to lead the audience through the story, whatever language they speak, without translation, subtitles or programme synopsis. Audiences everywhere seem to like this and as a composer and musician, I sometimes like to see language kept in its place!

ART.ZIP: 你們最近有什麼有趣的項目嗎?

PB: 六月份我們有一個挺好玩的項目,那是結合音樂劇場和概念街頭藝術的項目,叫做“絲襪球(The Tights Ball)”項目。這個項目是我們音樂劇場課程和七號站臺(Platform 7)藝術組織,還有兩位藝術家安娜·康姆潘尼爾茲(Anna Kompaniets)和蘭卡·霍拉科娃(Lenka Horakova)一起合作的。我們在街頭向路人回收舊絲襪和收集他們的故事。彙集來的那些有意思的故事將會在今年6月21日和22日被搬到卡姆頓(Camden)的街頭用音樂和劇場的形式表演出來。兩位藝術家會把回收來的絲襪做成一個巨大的球,這個球也會和卡姆頓的垃圾車一起作為道具出現在表演中。這種音樂劇場和其他類型的藝術形式合作的項目在歐洲十分普遍。

至於傳統的劇場作品,我們製作的《乞丐的歌劇(The Beggars’ Opera)》在今年年初首映,現在已被邀請到北京中關村國際音樂節進行演出。這部1728年的作品被認為是最早的音樂劇;而且我們自己製作的版本有原創的音樂部分。還有一部默劇叫做《El Gallo》也被邀請演出,這是一部由墨西哥戲劇公司委託創作的作品。居民劇團(Teatro de Ciertos Habitantes)已經在美國、拉丁美洲和歐洲巡演了不下一百遍了。這個劇只有六個演員,兩個弦樂四重奏樂隊,沒有任何台詞和文本。歌曲中的音節都是由我寫的,沒有任何具體含義。但我並不是為了迷惑觀眾,而是希望讓音樂、劇場和舞蹈本身來讓故事,娓娓道來。表演期間沒有任何的翻譯、字幕或者節目介紹。無論哪個國家的觀眾都對這部默劇十分著迷,作為作曲家和音樂家,有時候我真的覺得音樂勝比萬語千言。

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