“The justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations. The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but is, rather, the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity.” Glenn Gould
“The Goldlandbergs” is the story of a family.
Less a story of factual narratives, but more of a metaphoric comment on life through the intimate glimpse at the complex nature of human relations. The choreographic score stands as a threshold to the quiet ecstasy of individuals engaging with each other. Not aiming to reproduce the experience of reality, the work uses structural clarity immersed in a spontaneous way of being, proposing various observations on social structures and the way they effect individuals.
“The Goldlandbergs” exploits the contrapuntal essence of choreography, in order to generate numerous possibilities allowing both performers and audience the freedom of artistic choice and interpretation.
The soundtrack used, is an overlaying of two distinct scores: “The Quiet in the Land”, a radio documentary created by Glenn Gould in 1977, and excerpts from Bach’s “Goldberg Variation” played by Gould himself.
Described as oral tone poem, sound documentary or contrapuntal radio, “The Quiet in the Land” was the last of three such documentaries known as “The Solitude Trilogy” produced by Gould for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation between 1967-77. Gould conceived these documentaries as musical compositions.
A multi-layered contrapuntal structure of lines of speech, music and ambient sound, “The Quiet in The Land” is a complex and dramatic montage resembling a fugal form. A kind of music of the human voice, it combines ideas and emotions, interpretation and imagination, weaving them together in a variegated, cyclical, autonomous media reliant on electronic sound waves for transmission. Gould conceived of “a form which expresses the limitations of form. Which takes as its point of departure the terror of formlessness”. This intense texture stretches the ear and mind beyond normal expectations of comprehensibility, it can be perplexing at first and yet through close listening, it reveals remarkable depth and subtlety.
“The Quiet in the Land” is a Portrait of the Mennonite community at Red River, Manitoba in northern Canada. A religious group long separated from the mainstream, and how they are coping with the increasing strains and pressures that the Twentieth Century has placed on their community. It is constructed out of nine interviews, tapes of a church service, rehearsals by the Mennonite Children’s Choir, and other sound effects and music.
This complex and thorough portrait touches directly issues, challenges, and conflicts, which are timeless, mainly the search for an effective, but perpetually delicate balance among opposing trends, influences, principles, and goals. It looks into themes such as separateness; materialism; fashion; complexity of life; faith; reluctance to question one’s own culture; appearance; moderation; technology; theology; philosophy; humanism; isolation; conflicts; challenges; splits; unity; peace position; social concerns; politics and the arts.
This rich and dynamic sound scope is carefully layered in juxtaposition against Gould masterful recording of the Goldberg Variations from 1981, a few months before his death. The Aria (both the one opening the cycle and the one closing it), as well as some of the variations, are weaved into the dramatic textual environment, counter-pointing, enlightening and referencing it. It is an examination of the delicate and charged territory, which lies between the auditory and the visual, the sonic and the kinetic, the verbal and the sensory.
“The Goldlandbergs” uses choreography as a method of organizing and articulating thought through the exploration of the complex and dynamic webs of human relations. It looks at people, observes their conduct and behavior, attempting to unveil their motives and the forces which rule them.
Choreography created in collaboration with and performed by: Hervé Chaussard, Aurore Di Bianco, Michael Löhr, Pansun Kim, Philippe Mesia, Geneviève Osborne, François Przybylski, Milena Twiehaus
Soundtrack: “The Quiet in The Land”, prepared and written by Glenn Gould
Additional music: J.S.Bach, Goldberg variations. Piano, Glenn Gould.
Stage and lights designs : Emanuel Gat in collaboration with Samson Milcent and Guillaume Février
Sound designs : Emanuel Gat in collaboration with Frédéric Duru
Production Emanuel Gat Dance
Coproduction Festival Montpellier Danse 2013, Théâtre de la Ville, Paris, deSingel- International Art Campus, Anvers, Lincoln Center Festival 2014, New York, CCN Roubaix Nord-Pas de Calais Carolyn Carlson
With the support of Conseil Général des Bouches du Rhône and Fondation BNP Paribas
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