KISTVAEN is a performance piece that contrasts primordial motifs – elements and seasons, sun and moon, gods and magic – with those of the 21st century – life in designed environments and an evolving virtual existence.
Pivotal to the piece are Kists, Neolithic burial sites located on Dartmoor, and myths said to connect different worlds. The songs of the ritual are sung live by Mary-Anne Roberts of Bragod. The music, composed by Roly Porter, blurs the boundaries between field recording, folk instrumentation and digital sound processing, while Marcel Weber’s scenography blends subliminal stage and lighting effects with cinematic imagery. Filmed on location in Dartmoor, Bialowieza, in Dutch Westland, Tokyo and in studio, they evoke timeless inner feelings, pictures from the subconscious.
Our pagan roots and technology driven present are inextricably interwoven.
1st Sept 2019 - Berlin Atonal, DE
11th Oct 2019 - Unsound Festival, Krakow, PL
7th Nov 2019 - Les Garages Numeriques, Brussels, BE
8th Nov 2019 - MIRA Festival, Barcelona, ES
6th Feb 2020 - Inversia Festival, Murmansk, RU
22nd Feb 2020 - Sonic Acts, Amsterdam, NL
Kistvaen is a performance that contrasts primordial notions – strong connection to the seasons, the elements, sun and moon, gods and magic – with those of the 21st century. In which we are living in designed environments, experiencing the forces of nature only in regulated ways, while developing a parallel virtual existence.
Pivotal to the performance are Neolithic burial sites, Passage Tombs and related rituals of later ages, during which it is said that other worlds (the Modern Age? the Virtual World?) can be reached. The burial sites are located in Dartmoor, in the west of England, they are called: Kistvaen.
The piece aims to draw connections, traverse times. As a complex system of enhanced audio-vision it stimulates the imagination and brings together past and future. An experimental vehicle of research about the our primordial roots and after-echo in the technology driven present.
The performance sits between the cinematic and theatrical. Different chapters see a vocalist appearing on stage and in the space, singing and acting, while the audio-visual performers are placed off-stage. Thus focus and attention are carefully shifted during the piece, allowing for an altered room experience and unusual perspectives.
“The piece blends subliminal stage and lighting effects with cinematic imagery.
Primordial and futuristic motives are juxtaposed, the imagery evokes timeless inner feelings and stimulates the subconscious. I shot all material on location at historic sites and natural reserves in Dartmoor (which I visited multiple times) and Bialowieza (last primeval forest in Europe!), in Dutch Westland (where the fields glow at night), in Tokyo (sadly the robots from the uncanny valley didn't make it into the piece) and in studio in Berlin (mechatronic acting in surreal stage designs..).