16.10.17 Rosamund van der Westhuizen – Unsent Letters: A Childe Pilgrim’s Song to the Road
This project is a transdiciplinary performance of a narrative journey. It seeks to find the common denominator between the disciplines of music, dance, and literary text, and to communicate to an audience without relying unconditionally on the traditional modi operandi (and concomitant audience expectations) developed and depended on by the individual disciplines involved. Instead storytelling, or the narrative imperative, serves as prime directive. The piece does not aim to be theatrical, but phenomenological; an invitation to listen around the proverbial camp fire:
A figure, the Childe (Rosamund van der Westhuizen, cello), followed by a Stranger (Lou Sturm, dancer), sets out on a journey along time and space. She encounters places where the rules of perception, knowledge, and being are in flux. Each space has a unique aural and visual identity, and poses a unique challenge to the Childe on her journey, becoming a site of ritual. Along the way she meets a Crow (Janner Sieber, trombone), who brings new darkness but also depth to the Childe’s journey, and a Woman (Karolina Eurich, voice), whose presence introduces questions about the physicality of gendered identity. All together they bring home the problem of psychological polyphony. Their collective goal? To deliver a letter, whose text is generated by their journey.
A story about searching that interrogates the value of discovery, “Unsent Letters: A Child Pilgrim’s Song to the Road” is a project that aims to make us question, through the closeness of music, dance, and text, our collective human tendency towards narrativisation, and the agency (culpability?) imbedded in our drive towards inner logic when it comes to the joys and sorrows, successes and failures, and ultimately the meaning of our lives.
Jannes Sieber is a trombonist from Wallis currently studying in the class of Prof. David Bruchez at Zürich University of the Arts (ZHdK). More recently he has become active in the world of free improvisation, which he studies with acclaimed percussionist Lucas Niggli. Transdisciplinary projects have become standard in his field of activity.
Lou Sturm is a choreographer from the Black Forest region. For 9 years she was head of the the Company TEMPESDANZA in Mexico. She is currently completing her masters degree in Transdisciplinary studies and her research project is focused on movement and perception, anatomy, and embryology.
Karolina Eurich is a pianist and singer of Russian and German descent. She is active as soloist in both the classical and pop music scenes, and as ensemble musician in various formations. This year she performed as solo artist in the Festival for Contemporary Music, “Two Days and Two Nights”, in Odessa. She also joins the Choir-Dance Project “Choreos” when they go on tour to Greece in August.
Rosamund van der Westhuizen was born in South Africa. Raised in a musical family and beginning her musical education at age 3, she started playing the violin at age 6, before succumbing to the allure of the cello at age 15. Juggling a varied set of interests, including visual art, literature, philosophy, and cultural studies, Rosamund has completed degrees in music, English literature, and Latin literature at the Universtity of Stellenbosch in South Africa, and is currently completing a masters in Transdisciplinary studies a the University of the Arts in Zürich, where she is continuing her cello studies with Cobus Swanepoel. She is a keen ensemble player with a passion for string quartet playing, and improvisor, since discovering the world of free improvisation in the class of percussionist Lucas Niggli. She also nurtures a special interest in works for solo cello. Her current masters work concerns the creation of performative narrative that marries music, movement, and story, in collaboration with artists in Zürich. She has been accepted into the class of renowned cello pedagogue Roel Dieltiens, with whom she begins her studies in Autumn 2017 as part of a masters in music pedagogy.