What is the idea behind the »NOT FOUND« project?
Lara: The title stems from a certain frustration related to communication within our group, it is a reference to the classic »404 Not Found« error message. It’s about sending a signal and not receiving feedback, being ambitious and talking about something on too many different platforms. This was translated into different approaches. We split up into four groups. In our group, we work with an open score that I brought along and develop the piece while we play it. Others took the theme more literally and will integrate apps like WhatsApp or Telegram in their performance and engage with the audience.
Olivia: This will be the first section of the piece and it will be all about posing questions and interacting with the audience, which is very self-referential. The first quarter of the entire performance is based on the perception of the audience, so they are creating the music—although we are playing so they will be triggering us to play. It’s a process, really. In the next section, this will be contrasted by a trio of three different voices doing very different things, having a dialogue or maybe not—you can choose to experience it how you want. The third one is a commentary on authorship, with dialogues again taking place; Saemi Jeong will do some amazing live-sampling while we are playing. The last group will consist of Lara, Ilona Perger, and me. We bring it up to a very human climax, I would say, immersing the audience in a wall of sound. In between, there will be tape pieces that will reference the sound world through sampling and manipulation. This will come from many speakers around the room, which will create a natural transition. As a whole, »NOT FOUND« is through-composed and self-referential, asking questions about meaning and how it is constructed. This all sounds very intellectual, but it will be very accessible! (laughs)
Lara: Accessibility was very important for us when conceptualising the piece, because sometimes that is missing in contemporary music. We wanted to make it possible for the audience to relate to it, whether or not that means that they understand the musical languages we use.
Olivia: I think one time one person will sit on the edge of the stage, but other than that, we are not using the stage! (laughs) That’s just fun!
Lara: The acoustics of the space, Kunstquartier Bethanien’s Studio 1, are also crucial.
Olivia: Absolutely. In the last section, I will play the bassoon while Lara works with voice and electronics and Ilona plays a harmonium. This creates a mix of sounds with a voice-like quality and it will be impossible to say where they are coming from. We will be spread out amongst the audience. They can bathe in the sound …
Lara: … or walk around! This was one of the first things we spoke about when we founded Unruhe, that the typical concert situation is just so boring! People just sit and watch …
Olivia: … and then at the end, they get up and clap! That’s when they finally can make some noise. (laughs) Coming back to the space, it has quite an imposing acoustic since it is a chapel. You have to really be smart and work with it—or against it. There are these choir stalls above the audience and it is impossible to communicate if you are playing in those because you are so far apart. From that also began the idea of communication and what it is. Music transgresses language boundaries and meaning is never as defined as it tries—and often fails—to be in spoken word. We’re embracing this.