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Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen

19/02/2014 | By | Reply More

Der Klang is a theatre play by Ragnar Kjartansson with compositions by Kjartan Sveinsson, performed by German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and Film Chor Berlin


The German Film Orchestra Babelsberg on Concert in Mumbai (India) with A. R. Rahman and choir from City of Chennai.

A theatre play by Ragnar Kjartansson with compositions by Kjartan Sveinsson, was performed by the German Film Orchestra Babelsberg and the Film Choir Berlin, at the Volksbühne in Berlin, yesterday, February 18. 2014.

What methods does the theatre possess to enchant an audience if no actor steps on stage? When no text is being performed and the only thing that remains is the progression of sound and image?

Ragnar Kjartansson largely grew up inside the theatre where his parents both work. His clearest memory is when actors were away and technical tests and runs took place on stage. Magnificent lighting changes, stage sets and music received undivided attention.

These childhood moments from the theater Iðnó are Ragnar´s inspiration in a new production for the respected Berlin Theater Volksbühne and the Reykjavík City Theatre.

Ragnar Kjartansson says: “I grew up in the theatre, since my parents are both actors and directors, and I’ve always been in great awe of the non-narrative parts and the abstract components during rehearsals – the ceremonial mystique of a test phase when the actors are not yet on stage and there is nothing but the machinery, the props and scenery“.

I wanted to pay tribute to the mechanics and the formal elements of the theatre. It’s a theatre play without actors that will only use the stage and the music as theatrical elements, intended as homage to the machine, to the art of stage painting and the scenery. Monumental movements meet symphonic sounds; fragmenting scenery strikes great chords“.

Created in a close collaboration between orchestra and theatre, the production will be the world premiere of a symphonic theatre experience which has few precursors in the history of art”.

Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen

The show is a “super-romanticist” quest, a theatrical, dramatic and minimalist musical play in search of a long gone world to make new discoveries and maybe find beauty; paintings without narrative in Bolshoi folklore, symphonic majesty without aspirations, nothing but essences and sensations, and, as the title suggests, above all: a music production – a symphony abundant with tableaux vivants.

Inspired by the novel “World Light” by Iceland’s Nobel laureate Halldór Laxness, the Iceland-born artist Ragnar Kjartansson sets off for a journey to the theatre’s past.

Laxness’ novel is about a poor folk poet with a pure heart seeking artistic fulfilment and absolute beauty, which seems impossible to find.

The beauty of Iceland’s nature plays an important role in Laxness’ work, from which the protagonists draw almost delirious insights.

There is hardly any other country where the population is inspired by nature in much the same way.

Nature forms the basis of the Icelandic society, it is fundamental to the heroic sagas, the island’s oral tradition and cultural heritage passed down from the ancestors.

The piece follows the tradition of “pictorial music plays” established in the late 19th century by Sir Hubert von Herkomer, a painter, sculptor, musician, theatre and film maker of British-German origin.

It was his artistic vision to dissociate theatre from drama: ceremony replaces text and narration, and song takes over the spoken word.

Actors are no longer needed – it’s the perfect Theatre Solitude.

Ragnar Kjartansson is one of the Icelandic nation’s best known artists. In his art, he seeks material in different art forms.

He has twice participated in the prestigious Venice Biennale. His works have been exhibited at MoMA in New York and at the Carnegie Museum of Art.

Kjartan Sveinsson is a lyrical composer and his works are a well of emotions. For many years he composed music with the band Sigur Rós, of which he was a member for seventeen years.

Kjartan’s compositions possess a unique tone and this production is to a large extent inspired by his music.

Listen to Sveinsson´s ‘Credo‘ here below which was premiered on White Light Festival, November 15. 2010 at Church of St. Paul the Apostle in New York, USA and enjoy the slideshow of a beautiful scenery and nature on Grundarfjörður, Snæfellsnes Peninsula, Iceland where you can experience some of the country’s best-kept secrets and natural wonders.

Run time: 20 minutes.


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Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen is collaborative project between Volksbühne and the Reykjavík Arts Festival which enjoys the support of Der Hauptstadtkulturfonds Berlin.

Der Klang der Offenbarung des Göttlichen will be presented in Reykjavik as part of the Reykjavik Art Festival which will take place from 22 May to 5 June 2014.

If you like visit Iceland and enjoy the Reykjavik Art Festival in May, please check on our excellent Iceland Tours.


Category: Iceland

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