Collapse

In under thirty minutes Collapse presents a hauntingly hypnotic exploration of Cassandra' agony as she prophetically laments the collapse of her city. Ignored by the people, their denial of her claims induces her own fall into a a state of mental derangement.

Winning the Amsterdam Fringe Award proved that a powerfully condensed production can achieve more than much longer, slighter work

Despite its brevity this is a highly charged, intense work that was described by the awarding jury at the Amsterdam Fringe 2016 as "A captivating, poetic performance by a mesmerising duo, guiding you from light to dark, giving goosebumps along the way.” Winning the Amsterdam Fringe Award proved that a powerfully condensed production can achieve more than much longer, slighter work.

The piece is inspired by Wislawa Szymborska's A Soliloquy for Cassandra, which Karlijn Hamer recites as part of her performance. Although alone for the focal actions, behind her on stage, intently bent over the electronics board is Mathijs De Valk, who creates music, sounds and noises to accompany her movements and vocals. Collapse is their joint composition and its harmonic integration serves as a testimony to their understanding of each other.

The work has various contrasting phases. The extended rhythmic opening leads into an impassioned vocal outpouring using two microphones which, combined with mixes, give the effect of an echoing choir filling the air. Like a lion she descends to the floor and pours out throat-wrenching roars to those below with mouth wide open. The calmly whispered words of the could not be more different. All this sound and fury ends with a scene of tranquil meditation.

Mesmeric and impassioned, this curious production was not without minimal issues, most notably the microphone used for the reading, that hindered rather than aided hearing words. Although rooted in the story there is a large element of symbolic abstraction which at times is probably over stated. Nevertheless it is an unusual and fascinating piece.

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The Blurb

Amsterdam Fringe 2016 Award winner. A hypnotic, entrancing musical performance looking for the character Cassandra. This Trojan prophet foresaw the collapse of her city, but she was not heard, and it drove her to madness. “A captivating, poetic performance by a mesmerising duo, guiding you from light to dark, giving goosebumps along the way.” (Amsterdam Fringe 2016 Awards Jury). Compositions /performance: Karlijn Hamer Compositions / live-electronics: Mathijs De Valk Coaching: Floor van Leeuwen, Paul Koek, Nicole Beutler Text: Wislawa Szymborska.

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