Last week I had the honor to perform four Björk songs with the Rotterdam Philharmonic Orchestra as part of their season opening concert. The evening was led by Manoj Kamps. Manoj dreamt up a beautiful program including Sonheim, Rick van Veldhuijzen, Debussy, and Björk, and guided us through it.
Someday We’ll Find Us Rotterdam Philharmonic & Manoj Kamps
music : Björk, Sondheim, van Veldhuijzen, and Debussy
soloists : Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Katherine Dain, Cameron Bernard Jones
‘What makes Angela, Angela?’ German director Susanne Kennedy and multimedia artist Markus Selg want to know. To find out, they seize on Angela’s existence as dramatic material, following her from birth to death and beyond. Their journey takes her through everyday situations: illness and recovery, waking and sleeping, being born and giving birth, aging and death. The hypothesis is that Angela is made up of millions of experiences and that some of them reflect what others have told her. Angela might ultimately be just a strange loop, an endless sequence.
Susanne Kennedy and Markus Selg explore the new balance of power that exists between bodies, technical objects and machines. With a post-humanist aesthetic and multimedia approach, they put the distortion of the actors resulting from the mask play, lip-synced dialogues and doppelgängers of Germanic folklore to good use. Angela (a strange loop) takes us on a deep dive into the question of identity and consciousness. Angela guides us to one of the fundamental questions of existence: what is the nature of reality and what does ‘I’ represent?
concept, text and direction Susanne Kennedy concept and stage design Markus Selg performance Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Ixchel Mendoza Hernández, Kate Strong, Tarren Johnson, Dominic Santia voices Diamanda La Berge Dramm, Cathal Sheerin, Kate Strong, Rita Kahn Chen, Rubina Schuth, Tarren Johnson, Susanne Kennedy, Ethan Braun Dominic Santia, Ixchel Mendoza Hernández, Marie Schleef, Ruth Rosenfeld sound design and montage Richard Alexander soundtrack Richard Alexander, Diamanda La Berge Dramm live music Diamanda La Berge Dramm video design Rodrik Biersteker, Markus Selg costume design Andra Dumitrascu dramaturgy Helena Eckert light design Rainer Casper artistic collaboration + touring direction Friederike Kötter Stage assistant Lili Süper artistic costume assistant Anastasia Pilepchuk, Anna Jannicke Direction intern Tobias Klett
production ULTRAWORLD PRODUCTIONS management Something Great Artistic production management Philip Decker technical production management Sven Nichterlein stage construction Stefan Pilger international distribution Rui Silveira – Something Great tour manager Niki Fischer – Something Great co-producers Wiener Festwochen (Vienna), Festival d’Automne à Paris & Odéon – Théâtre de l’Europe (Paris), Festival d’Avignon (Avignon), Holland Festival (Amsterdam), Kunstenfestivaldesarts (Brussels), National Theatre Drama / Prague Crossroads Festival (Prague), Romaeuropa Festival (Rome), Teatro Nacional de São João (Porto) and Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz (Berlin)
World premiere May 11th 2023 at Théâtre National Wallonie Bruxelles as part of Kunstenfestivaldesarts
Thrilled that Chimp has been getting so much attention. Here’s a collection !
The one I’m most proud of is the Quietus Album of the Week. I’ve been a fan of the Quietus for a long time, so this write up by Marthe Lisson is a real honour. “…Chimp is a grand debut of experimental classical music. While many instrumentalists are satisfied with playing immaculately ever faster, it is the exploration and acceptance of imperfection (whatever that means) that distinguishes the artist from the musician. That and a never-ending curiosity and thirst to learn and expand one’s own skills and repertoire. I hear all of that in Diamanda La Berge Dramm’s Chimp, a pursuit of true artistry.”
**** from Leon Pouwels in Written in Music (NL). Interesting write up about empathy, fantasy, and being the architecture of one’s own fraternisation.
Beyond grateful to have won the Willem Breuker Prize. The prize is awarded every two years to a musician whose work is characterised by ‘freedom, hearty audacity, and a completely open mind.’
The Willem Breuker Prize 2022 will be awarded during a double concert of the duo Maarten Ornstein-Mike Fentross, and me. The organization was not able to hand out an award in 2021, because of corona measures in the music sector. Consequently, this year the jury will hand out two awards of equal value. The Willem Breuker Prize exists of a prize of 15.000 euro and a sculpture by Wim T. Schippers.
The biennial Willem Breuker Prijs is awarded to those who show kinship with Willem Breuker’s groundbreaking and inventive methods. Willem Breuker (1944-2010) supported a new music landscape with everything he did: he was a composer, saxophonist and clarinetist; he traveled the globe for thirty-five years with his own ensemble, Willem Breuker Kollektief; he ran a record company, BV Haast; and for decades he organized the festival Klap op de Vuurpijl for jazz, improvised, and contemporary classical music.
The prize gives me the time and space to develop deeper. It’s also moment to reflect and be grateful to everyone who has helped me get to where I am, both teachers and collaborators.
From the jury report : “…She’s an authentic presence in the instrumental domain, and a role model when it comes to using the instrument as a means to an end, and not an end in itself.’
Concert and party on November 4th, 20:30, BIMHUIS, Amsterdam
Really touched by the wonderful write up. Read it here
“…Chimp is a grand debut of experimental classical music. While many instrumentalists are satisfied with playing immaculately ever faster, it is the exploration and acceptance of imperfection (whatever that means) that distinguishes the artist from the musician. That and a never-ending curiosity and thirst to learn and expand one’s own skills and repertoire. I hear all of that in Diamanda La Berge Dramm’s Chimp, a pursuit of true artistry.”