Benjamin Scheuer (composer) on his musical score

In the five scenes I have written for the dance theatre I am working on with Ivan Perez I have tried to reflect the relationship of music and choreography in several different ways.

For me it was very important not to write music which always relates to the events on stage in the same manner. So sometimes the musicians try to push into the foreground and influence the dance in quite a violent way, in other passages the music is rather “composed silence” in order to leave air for totally independent happenings in the choreography.

The first scene is the longest one and consists of a large development to a shrill and energetic climax. Repetition as a rhythmical element is used a lot, but the ideas never come back in a really predictable way. The music is creeping in very carefully at the beginning, mostly noises are used. A kind of irregular pulse is established, a repetition of percussive chords like a heavy procession or march stays present at different layers throughout the whole first scene. While accompanying the dance very softly with some subtle air noises at the beginning, the music tries to take over the events on stage later, intending to attract attention by its complexity. It culminates in a musical catastrophe.

The following scenes are much shorter and represent different musical reactions to what has occurred.

The second one is “composed silence”. After the shock only the sound of breathing of the musicians is heard. It is like when a dancer has made some complex movements on stage with loud music and then the music dies away and he stands still: Then his heavy breathing caused by the exhausting actions he just performed reminds you of the energy of what just happened.

In the third scene the music tries to take over control again. With nervous repetitions it refers to elements from the first part, panicking at the end.

The fourth scene is a very soft moment maybe resembling a lullaby. The music gets a much softer flow. Maybe in this moment ensemble and dancers will be united and equally important in a special way.

The last scene is an intent to reinitiate the marching repetitions from the beginning. But this time the colours are weaker, it all goes slower and seems to fall apart in a way. This is the moment when a prominent motive from the first part comes in again and leads more and more to stagnation.

Is it resignation, redemption or something totally different? You will see when my collaboration process with Ivan Perez goes on.

Benjamin Scheuer