Pia Palme – ABSTRIAL

ABSTRIALABSTRIAL: a radical contemporary opera.

ABSTRIAL is an opera of maximum transparency, an ephemeral presentation of imperturbably continuing processes. Ivan Fantini’s installation made of bread dough and glasses constitutes the ideational axis for the performances of Paola Bianchi, the two composers who play live, and the vocalists. Guiding themes are the disintegration of quotidian values, meanings and fabrics, and consequently arising structures re-composed by the artists. The gradually changing installation resulting in falling glasses join with Anne Waldman’s text to create structure and rhythm ruling decomposition and reorganization. ABSTRIAL connects the material level directly to contemporary composition, electronic music and text. The made-up word ABSTRIAL is consequently a composite of “abstraction” and “material”.

Composer Pia Palme uses four voices in a radical way: a baritone sings the solo part – partially transmitted via headphones as an audio-score. Three female voices form a choir that reads from conventional scores. Electric Indigo’s composition is based on language and voice too. Yet, using granular and spectral analysis of spoken words, she creates entirely abstract sounds and textures.

The body is Paola Bianchi’s specific language, her instrument, but also her study subject. Both in performance and in choreography, position and shape of bodies in space are of equal importance as the “inner” choreography of muscles, tendons, skin, and the reactions within the body.

The American writer Anne Waldman provided a customized text for the play, tailored to its concept and themes. Italian text fragments by Ivan Fantini and German parts by Pia Palme complement the literary fundament.

Time doesn’t fly, it is a timeless present that we don’t comprehend. Is there any “here”? Is there any “now”? Time doesn’t fly, it is an approximation of our perception. The sky is above and below, you can only lose yourself. (- Ivan Fantini)

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Composition: Pia Palme, Electric Indigo
Direction: Paola Bianchi
Installation: Ivan Fantini
Lightning design: Paolo Pollo Rodighiero
Sound direction: Christina Bauer
Texts: Anne Waldman, Ivan Fantini, Pia Palme
Performance: Paola Bianchi, Pia Palme, Electric Indigo
4 Voices: Bartolo Musil, Eva-Maria Kumpfmüller, Johanna von der Deken, Anna Clare Hauf

Thursday 25.4. – Saturday 27.4. / 20:30 im KosmosTheater Wien

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Author: Michael Baldwin

Composer / Curator / Performer / Researcher Currently based in Manchester, England. My work investigates the physicality, ephemerality, and documentation of music-making practices and bodies.