Dark was the Night

Scene for twelve musicians, two blind guides and audience

This project investigated our perception of music in darkness. Enclosed in a dark room, visitors lay on resonant structures and listened to the musicians play their instruments while moving vertically or horizontally around the room. The audience could neither localize the source of the sounds visually, nor identify which instrument produced which sound. Unable to anticipate the sounds by sight, the audience had to completely rely on its sense of hearing and the physical experience of sound. Because the fixed position of sounds provides structure to space, the performing ensemble has been kept constantly in motion, thereby dissolving the material space and creating a purely acoustic environment. Blind guides have been on hand to assist the visitors – this reversal of roles was organized to encourage visitors to re-evaluate the dominance of visual perception. For this project the director Sabrina Hölzer collaborated with twelve string players from the instrumental ensemble Kaleidoskop. They performed works by international contemporary composers – such as Sánchez-Verdú, Sciarrino, Hosokawa and Xenakis – as well as some classical compositions. The project had also commissioned several new works which involved movements, changes in movement, vocal and tonal jumps and the transferral of motifs and sounds. In addition to performances in Berlin and Salzburg, additional concerts were planned around the world, for which a mobile room installation will be specially made.

Artistic director: Sabrina Hölzer
Artists: Ladislav Zajac (SK), Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop. With works by Sánchez-Verdú (ES), Salvatore Sciarrino (IT), Peteris Vasks (LV), Lachenmann, Xenakis (GR), Hosokawa (J), Blind Willie Johnson (USA), Qu Xiao-song (CH), Marcelo Toledo (RA)

Venues and schedule:
Funkhaus Nalepastrasse, Berlin, 7 – 16 Dec. 2012


Into the Dark UG

Greifswalder Straße 8

10405 Berlin