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During 2020-22 Gívan Belá was working on a performance work, in collaboration with Laznia Gdansk, to function as an opening event of the exhibition 'Sense Perception / Sensoria' by Hungarian-Canadian artist-curator-traveller-critic-organizer-writer-… Nina Czegledy in September 2022. The piece is a community based and participative work, performed in open air, and based on the same principles as Fanfara Hranice (2011, 2018).
In February 2020 we visited Laznia, and worked on the necessary prospection, for developing the piece. Both venues where the performances will take place belong to quite different neighbourhoods. Apart from an extensive series of field recordings around Laznia 2 (the harbour) and Laznia 1 (the city), we worked out a further plan of action, meeting the experimental choir 441 Hz and Anna Wilczewska. Meantime the renowned luthier Hubert Połoniewicz, proposed making a replica of the mysterious medieval instrument, the geśle gdanskie. We accomplished 26 hours of field recordings as an initial sound material collection, for further analysis and re-generation electronically. We came back home and started to work preparing the initial the score for the choir. BirdSongs was the working title. The piece would be throughout the years mentioned as Marching Choir, Fanfara, etc. and was several times postponed. Meantime we played some online concerts together with Krzysztof Topolski, and we continued to work together to perform the piece in Gdansk where Krzysztof is living. As a percussionist, he introduced a more rhythmical approach, including playing on handheld small instruments, which enriched the piece tremendously. Also it kept the performers and audience moving, which was one of the essential aspects of the performance, being originally based on a dynamic dvametri choreography. (OK we dropped the DIY hand held solar operated electronics but stay (un)tuned and we will come back to it later)
The final performance was set for September 16th, 2022. The 441 Hz choir could not perform it but then the Akademicki Chór Uniwersytetu Gdańskiego / Gdansk University Choir proposed to step in and rescue the performance, together with a bunch of visiting international Erasmus students from Split, Malta, Cadiz and Brest. We met an open minded and dynamical group, full of energy, directed by the flamboyant directors Marcin Tomczak, Aneta Majda and Magdalena Niestoruk. Krzysztof Topolski performed on big 24“ bass drum inspired by the walking and making music on the move traditions of New Orleans Second Line and Street Beat drumming. Some rehearsals, some talking, some singing, it all went smooth. Then suddenly, in a magical mix of humans and others, while the rain was pouring down, we had an unique performance, among a puzzled and amused audience…
Text 1 (For Laznia Gdansk)
Guy Van Belle in collaboration with Krzysztof Topolski and the Gdansk University Choir present Fanfara Gdansk performance using a simple and open setup for the participatory visitors/performers. For centuries the arts were rather interested in the non-human expressions around or communication and phenomena that we faintly or hardly understand. To quote Paul Demarinis “Music is sound to my ears”. The sound score gives an indication of discrete and continuous time, pitches and amplitudes, complexities and silences, some combinatory ideas, etc. in the form of sounds you can listen to, sing/play along with it or counter, imitate and enrich it… The expressivity and performativity aims at providing a real time interpretation of the sound score.
The Fanfara Gdansk performance consists of a backtrack with recorded and computer generated birdsongs, which is transmitted over local FM, and received by the musicians on headsets from their phones, tables, portable radio receivers. All musicians are 'singing' along with the birdsongs, but they can also bring additional small handheld objects that produce sound: battery operated electronics; resonating objects, … some megaphones and small amplifiers will be available, but all wearable. The singers from the choir move slowly in formation together with the additional musicians and participatory audience, towards the entrance of the exhibition. Any single movement from the musicians and the audience influences the position of the others.
Text 2 (100 words for Toronto)
The Gdansk Fanfara (2022) consists of a listening score, with recorded and computer generated birdsongs, transmitted over local FM and streamed on internet, and received by a choir on individual headsets from their phones. All musicians primordarly 'sing along' with the birdsongs, and play sound on additional small handheld objects of their own choice, while moving along among the audience. As such the music is created only by listening to a non-human expressivity, interpreting what is perceived and acting towards a group presence – because it is including the visitors - within an always unexpectedly changing context, like the weather circumstances.