Narratives 1: Dreams
THE ARREST - Yannis Kyriakides Performed by Ensemble MAE First performed in June 2010 at the Poetry International Rotterdam, and subsequently recorded in MuzyQ, Amsterdam, September 2010 by Micha de Kanter, mixed and mastered by Yannis Kyriakides. The Arrest is based on a dream of George Perec, from a collection of 150 dream narratives, published in 1973 as La Boutique Obscure. The particular dream used in The Arrest is typical of one of his recurring nightmares, of being stopped and arrested by the police, a fear that he perhaps carried from the experience of his parents, who were deported and killed in the holocaust. This is even brought to the fore in The Arrest in references to his Jewish heritage and the discomfort he felt regarding his pro- Palestinian political standpoint. DREAMS OF THE BLIND - Yannis Kyriakides Performed by Ensemble MAE conducted by Bas Wiegers First performed February 2007 at the Paradiso, Amsterdam, and subsequently recorded in MuzyQ, Amsterdam, March 2010 by Clare Gallagher, mixed and mastered by Yannis Kyriakides. The metaphor of the blind dreamer seemed a fitting starting point to the exploration of text films with music because there is already an articulation of some medium gone missing. In this piece we read accounts of dreams that have not come about through visual sense perception, nor a sub-conscious processing of image data in the mind of the dreamer, but largely through the senses of hearing and touch. This is in some way reflected in the experience of watching and hearing the composition, the sense of absence of the visual medium. The concept of voice is also explored in the piece, in that just as we form images in our minds while reading the dream texts, we also hear our mind's voices reading the text to the music, some way of putting the voice of the reader/listener at the centre of the music. Dreams of the Blind was awarded the Willem Pijper Prijs by the Johan Wagenaar Stichting in 2011. SUBLIMINAL: THE LUCRETIAN PICNIC - Yannis Kyriakides Performed by Asko | Schönberg conducted by Jussi Jaatinen First performed at the Festival in de Branding, October 2003, the Hague and subsequently recorded live at the Paradiso, Amsterdam. In 1957 James Vicary, a market researcher claimed that over a six-week period, 45,699 patrons at a movie theatre in Fort Lee, New Jersey were shown two advertising messages, 'Eat Popcorn' and 'Drink Coca-Cola', while they watched the film Picnic. According to Vicary, a message was flashed for 3/1000 of a second once every five seconds. The duration of the messages was so short that they were never consciously perceived. Despite the fact that the customers were not aware of perceiving the messages, Vicary claimed that over the six-week period the sales of popcorn rose 57.7% and the sales of Coca-Cola rose 18.1%. These claims turned out later to be false, but techniques he used caused nationwide unrest at the time. People became fearful about being susceptible to these kinds of subliminal manipulation. Subliminal: The Lucretian Picnic is an audio-visual composition which weaves together fragments from the 1955 film Picnic with animated text from De Rerum Natura by Lucretius (Rolfe Humphries' translation). It uses subliminal techniques with underlying texts about the nature of fear, of images and sleep and such like philosophical musings. This is intended to explore the powerful connection between images, text, sound and music that lie on the threshold of our possible perception. How they affect each other's meanings, and how our perception changes depending on the type and amount of information it is fed. The piece takes the form of dream essay where fragments of film, soundtrack, music, and psychoacoustic electronic sounds are combined in constantly shifting polyphonic textures to produce an overall disorientating effect.