Aspasia Nasopoulou
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"4+1" collective project about communication (2010)
text, fragment from R.M.Rilke
for 2 percussionist, saxophonist, bass clarinetist and actor/singer
Total duration: 22 min.

The questions which fascinates me the last years and I want to explore are: how a composer interprets, transforms and he is related to external ideas making them art?
how a musician is related during the process to his own source of inspiration and how he can be connected and communicate with the other performers? can all this dialogue involve or concern the "public"?
The above questions gave me the idea of working on the context of communication, together with 4 musicians who have very strong artistic individuality. The fact that I worked as individual composer and at the same time in collaboration with the group, was already contradictory.
As a composer in this project, I wanted to initiate and create the frame/context where the musicians can bring in their source of inspiration which was one of the tools of the process.
We dealt with: communication between a composer and the musicians, between musicians and their source of inspiration, in between the musicians, between audience and performers and finally how the art - making communicates with the society.

The performers I worked with, consisted of a great multicultural group with diverse musical background and practices, fact that made already from the beginning a very interesting combination.

The performers who have already crossed the boarders of their art , supporting equally the role of composer/performer/researcher through their practice with strong awareness and questions about communication was:

Bart de Vrees, percussionist/composer, Marijn Korff de Gidts, percussionist,
Kevin Walton singer/actor /director,
Naomi Sato saxophonist/sho player/ composer,
and Laura Carmichael, b.clarinetist.

The process consisted of several stages:
  1. Few meetings where everyone brought a strong quotation about what means communication for him/her. Through the dialogues and improvisations we started the first level of communication and interaction.
  2. During that stage I used as base and source of inspiration every individual quotation and the outcome of the meetings, in order to compose the bigger part of the piece, creating simultaneously space/"windows" for their material. The idea was gradually the written musical part to get out of the form through its development and that it will be unfolded establishing a "conversation"/ improvisation between the musicians themselves and the public. We didn’t reach this final stage because the luck of time but this is the next step for the future.

This working method involved already from the beginning a lot of "symbols". Those symbols took later a functional role during the performance and were transformed concretely and abstractly. By using the theatrical dimension of all kind of objects, words, sounds etc. we created a dialogue between the musicians on stage.

During my experience all those years as a composer, a pianist and the last years as a moderator of workshops I have noticed that the questions which comes up between artists themselves but also between non artists are; why do we practice art? what is the role of art in the society? what about the public?

For me the necessity of this project besides the clear compositional interest was related to the research, application and opening up in a discussion about the core of making and experience art. How everyone can relate oneself and his-her own social/educational/ethical/cultural bases to it; how we can keep always open our antennas for a real communication.

Quotes from Carl Maria Rilke that are used during the performance

Once the realization is accepted that even between the closest human beings infinite distances continue, a wonderful living side by side can grow, if they succeed in loving the distance between them which makes it possible for each to see the other whole against the sky.

One is scared when he realizes how many things could be constructed or deconstructed with the words. They are so far away from us, trapped in their eternal inconsistence, indifferent towards our more urgent needs. They run suddenly far away the moment we touch them. Because words have their life and we, ours.

I have never been aware before how many faces there are. There are quantities of human beings, but there are many more faces, for each person has several.

Despite we are floating trying to transmit some messages, the innermost miracle of life is that we can touch the ground and find ourselves in one another.

Carl Maria Rilke