27.02.16 - Corpse in context @ Ambassaden

Corpse in context – a body-orientated music performance.

Classical music is dead. Classical music is built on a foundation of European white male, aristocratic patronage and intellectual superiority. It is built on a foundation of an elitist worldview, which today is currently out-of-touch and irrelevant. The classical music as we know it is dead, its laws must be dissolved and redefined.
Corpse in context is an attempt to break away from the hegemony in classical music and reanimate the decomposed classic corpus. On stage are four white European males and one Asian female with postgraduate music degrees all inscribed in the classical tradition. Through puppeteering, electric shocks, transducers and distractions we will disturb the privileged corpse by forcing the musicians decadently trained limbs to fail in performance. This direction, this NEW FALLIBILITY, in the musical composition indicates a new aesthetic and possibly a new understanding of beauty.

The American playwright and director Richard Foreman has been exploring this for years – identifying the awkward, crap parts and mishaps in his writing and exploiting them for all they’re worth, seeing them as challenges to his directing:

“Normally, let us assume we are delighted by a sunset.
We are not delighted by a corpse.
But if we place the corpse within a certain composition, let us say—we are then delighted by the composition of which the corpse is a part.”

In British theatrical slang “corpsing” on stage means to unintentionally break character, forget lines, or laugh. It’s a pejorative term, but perhaps we can swap it out with Foreman’s cadaver and find some second-hand use for it. I’m not suggesting we engage in some sort of post-modern-grave-robbing, but rather confront the idea of the corpse – literally and allegorically – as an object and symbol to be addressed and “dealt with”. And then maybe there is life after death.

‘Corpse in context’ is a coproduction between musicartist Sebastian Edin and the experimental musicensemble ARCO as a part of the coOPERAtion programme by AUT – Aarhus Unge Tonekunstere; an international project showcasing new music-theatre by international artists.

Sebastian Edin is an Aarhus based sound artist and composer, currently studying towards a Master’s degree at DIEM (Danish Institute for Electronic Music), Det Jyske Musikkonservatorium. For Corpse in Context, Edin presents “Lethe”, a piece for amplifier-performer and metal resonator. Surface transducers attached to the chest and hands effectively turns the performing body into a loudspeaker, and transform the hands into tools with which to diffuse and filter sounds—setting up a tactile interplay between skin and resonating metal.

ARCO is a group of UK-based composer-performers, focusing on experimental approaches to music-theatre. ARCO’s working methods involve operating partly as a composer’s workshop, devising, constructing, and performing work collaboratively. ARCO are performing material by all members of the group, alongside contributions from Stephen Crowe, Matthew Lee Knowles and Federico Reuben. Some of this is old material, some new, much of it cannibalised and bastardised to a degree far removed from its original source and intention.

Neil Luck, Adam de la Cour, Chihiro Ono, Benedict Taylor & Sebastian Edin

Time: Laboratorium – February 22nd – 26th
Performance – February 27 at 8pm
Duration: 90 min

70 dkr. / 50 dkr. (stud.)
1-year membership of AUT (free entree for 1 year): 170 dkr. / 90 dkr. (stud.)

AUT’s concerts are funded with support from Danish Composers’ Society’s Production Pool/KODA’s Cultural Funds, The Danish Arts Foundation’s Committee for Music Project Funding, and Aarhus Municipality Music Committee
Corpse in context is also supported by: British Arts Council


Sebastian Edin premiered his new piece 'Lethe' @ Ambassaden February 27th.