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Peter Eötvös: As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams

Peter Eötvös As I Crossed a Bridge of Dreams (fragment from the diary of the lady Sarashina, Japan in the year 1008) sound theatre (1999)
Ivan Morris · English translation
Mari Mezei · libretto

Vivian Lüdorf · reciter
Jürgen Schaal · alto trombone
Rachel Helleur · violoncello
Volkmar Jäger · double bass trombone, sousaphone
Shira Karmon · soprano
Elisabeth Zündel · mezzo soprano
Jonathan de la Paz Zaens · baritone

Philip Mayers · musical director
Bryan Wolf · sound director
Cornelia Heger · director/artistic direction

Janina Mendroch · stage design
Sabine Hilscher · costumes
Ella Peri · directing assistance
Urs Hildebrand · lighting design
Corinna Jarosch · dramaturgy

Jörg Schildbach · technical director and stage building
Jos Mulder, Eva Pöpplein · sound engineers

K&K Kulturmanagement & Kommunikation · production management

18 March | 19:00 introduction with Peter Eötvös and Cornelia Heger

A production of Kulturkontakte e.V. and MaerzMusik | Berliner Festspiele, in cooperation with Ungarischer Akzent. Ungarisches Kulturjahr in Deutschland, supported by the Hauptstadtkulturfonds, with the help of ROLAND Elektronische Musikinstrumente GmbH

Guest performance at Schwetzinger Festspiele on 2 June 2006

A “sound theatre” is what Peter Eötvös calls his composition, first performed in 1999. And indeed, in As I crossed a Bridge of Dreams theatrical elements evolve within the sonic sphere; sight and sound blend and merge into one another, the lyrics open out to where they cross the border into a music that in sonic echoes creates the evocative image of a dream play. At the heart of this dream play are excerpts form the diary of an anonymous Japanese court lady, Lady Sarashina (“Sarashina Nikki”) as she is called, dating back to Japan’s “Golden Age” in the 11th century.

With a tender poetic hand the authoress leads us through supposedly real episodes of her life, past magical characters and natural phenomena, towards a kind of voyage of longing, where subjective perception and slight unsettlement become strangely entwined.

This finds its congenial analogy in the multilayered sonic space of the music. The concurrence of imagery and sound mirrors the borderless world of the protagonist’s imagination, reflected in various instrumental layers of sound. The inner life of the Lady progresses in unison with the sonorous sound shadows of trombone, bass trombone and three voices. Other instruments, electronically amplified and expanded, create a densely atmospheric sound space that envelops the audience.