When I first met this month’s Guest Editor Robert Szymanek, through a London Symphony Orchestra composers scheme a few years back, I was struck by his distinctive energy and inclination for action. Years later, I saw him taking action in political manners that where very close to my heart, and was reminded that we all have to do something in return of our existence on this planet; that sitting on our couch, passively looking at our ‘massive’ problems becoming ‘gigantic’ wasn’t the way forward.
It was during this same period that I developed my first (very heavily) politically influenced works. They all came out in rather different formats: shadow puppetry theatre, solo cello, large ensemble with video, and explored concepts of governing/dictating, obscurantism/oppression, human exploitation/extermination. At the time, it seemed like a progression away from my previous inclination to avoid any political reference, instead focusing on the human being, and conditions of living in societies.
It now seems like a very appropriate moment to attempt devising a performance based on the same works of this period and the concepts behind them. The result is a performance of Sisyphus Distressing, which will be performed by the Metapraxis Ensemble on the 7th November at London’s IKLECTIK.
The myth of Sisyphus, and the French philosopher Albert Camus’s views on it, offered the ideal setting to explore the ideas I’ve outlined above. The programme will include six older pieces focusing on the everyday struggle, on the pointless (?) thought and action planning, on the controlling (?) of our lives; on the looking in the mirror and not recognising ourselves. One new piece then explores the idea of seeking a resolution, attempting to catch up with your body and your inner self, making every effort to create a system/routine, going backwards, trying to break away from it, drinking, drinking, drinking; waking up to look yourself in the mirror – there is nobody there…
The IKLECTIK event is a gathering of great musicians and friends, getting together to offer what they can. Exploring. Sharing. Discussing. The 7th of November, incidentally, is Albert Camus’s birthday anniversary.
Hope to see you there… for a drink!
Link for ‘I saw him taking direct action’
Link for ‘shadow puppetry theatre’
Link for ‘solo cello’
Link for ‘large ensemble’
Link for Metapraxis Ensemble:
Link for ‘Iklectik’
Link for Albert Camus’s