Narziss / Echo – Note on the echo space

During the development of the piece the monologue transforms itself into a language cosmos. It is no more a timeline marked by pauses as spaces in-between but it’s the spatial qualities as such becoming more and more present and create something new. This new is a cosmos consisting only of language spoken and sung; as opposed to the ancient idea of a cosmos it is not a given order that guarantees stability but a space that continuously originates anew from different positions. It is the space(s) and the spacing in-between and beyond stability and instability, continuity and disruption we are trying to find and create.

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Narziss / Echo | installation shot

This cosmos consists of a voice, of language spoken and sung but it is neither text nor sound, neither music nor literature as such we are producing; we try to open the space(s) in-between sound and meaning. So, although this cosmos carries songs and lyrical poetry parts, it is not a concert and it is not a reading you are listening to. It is only language we are working with (and not sound material of all sorts…) because we want to change the perspective from a space opened by language (an imaginary space, created e.g. by a story) to spaced language. We need this reduction and focus on words only in order to achieve a twist from story to space by using the same means: The cosmos created by language is not one that is merely being told, but it is here and now in the space of words and the words in space. This cosmos is not about a story, it is not about a dialogue; neither is it about physicality as opposed to meaning; and although there are more fragmented zones and more linear ones deconstruction and liquefying is not our main goal; neither is alienation of pre-existing sounds what we are working with (we record and then change very little, we don’t use effects…). Instead of or beyond fragmentation and linearity, beyond solid and liquid we try to think of the possibilities of aeriform movements; instead of or beyond deconstruction and alienation and thus working on the meaning and identity of words or sounds we want to space them. This asks for another practice, not only of making but also of listening to it and being in it. We don’t know it – we try it.

It is the mythological Echo, our preoccupation with her, that led us to such a space. The cave she turns into, the pure resonance she is, the voice that only answers and thus transforms enabled us to think of an Echo not as a poor and paranoid chamber of always the same but as a rich and full cosmos. Finally, all the material we produced during our long engagement with the myth, all the different words, tunes and rhythms we found in response to her: the melancholic, the somnambulant, the demanding, the sad and the desperate, the longing and the fulfillig… are building, forming and moving the narcotic Echo space of this piece.