In 2018, Antoine Jully commissioned me to record the Art of Fugue by Johann Sebastian Bach. The requirement was to make the recordings as sonically varied as possible.
When I mixed all the recordings, I made sure that the sound tended to originate on stage, so that the dance and the music felt more connected.
I made the string recordings with the string quartet Ventapane, whose members come from the Oldenburg State Orchestra, in the St. Stephanus Church in Oldenburg-Bloherfelde. Ventapane has ‚The Art of the Fugue‘ in his repertoire and has successfully performed the complete work several times in concerts in an arrangement specially made by Lev Gelbard. The St. Stephanus church is quietly situated and has a very good surround sound for recordings.T
he piano recordings with the improvisations were done with Christoph Ogiermann. He is a composer and lives in Bremen. The cluster improvisation summarizes the notes of a certain passage as a cluster (polyphonic „sound cloud“ of pitches close to each other). This improvisation was recorded with a keyboard as MIDI data and then played in the university on a special grand piano that transforms this MIDI data back into played music. I microphoned this instrument and prepared it for some recordings with objects such as ping pong balls and fabrics. The choirs I have sung in this piece consist of more dissonant chords, which are used more in jazz. Because when Bach changes back and forth between ternary and binary rhythm in his composition, I sometimes hear it with the „jazz ear“ and the baroque music then begins to swing.
Choreography and costumes: Antoine Jully
Music: Johann Sebastian Bach, ‚The Art of Fugue‘ BWV 1080
Musical arrangement and voice: Gunnar Brandt-Sigurdsson
Stage: Georgios Kolios, Antoine Jully
Lighting: Sofie Thyssen, Phillip Sonnhoff, Antoine Jully
Video: Georgios Kolios
Dramaturgy: Telse Hahmann
With: Laura Cristea/ Adi Hanan/ Maelenn Le Dorze/ Nicol Omezzolli/ Caetana Silva Dias/ Teele Ude/ Francesco Fasano/ Lester René González Álvarez/ Oliver Jones/ Herick Moreira/ Gianluca Sermattei
Tobias Götting, organ
Ventapane Quartet: Lev Gelbard, Birgit Rabbels, Christoph Rabbels, André Saad
Christoph Ogiermann, piano improvisation