A site-responsive musical drama at an abandoned "Sleeping Beauty" castle: Renaissance music, cinematic soundtrack for Modern Circus, algorithmic soundscapes and Neo-romantic choral music in the twilight hour ....
The Danish ensemble Via Artis Konsort staged the site-responsive event 'Hesbjerg revisited' in September 2017 as part of the Funen cultural festival Mod.Strøm.
The idea of the festival was to draw new attention to forgotten places at the Funen island through various artistic initiatives. We picked the abandoned Hesbjerg Castle, west of Odense; a 'Sleeping Beauty' castle built in 1890 in an anachronistic renaissance style, and with a tumultuous but intriguing history. In the months leading up to the festival, the ensemble's composer and dramatist created a performance that included elements from the castle's past and present, relating to the castle's appearance, picturesquely dilapidated condition and the acoustic space conditions. The park-like garden of the castle was also included in the preparation.
It resulted in an hour and ten minute long musical-dramatic suite, performed by Via Artis Konsort, in collaboration with the Modern Circus group TinCanCompany and Odense Chamber Choir. Music and circus were performed in several of the castle rooms and in the garden. The audience was guided around according to a carefully elaborated plan in order to get a complete experience of the performance.
As part of the event, we encouraged the audience to film their impressions of the show with their cell phones or small cameras. In the months that followed, we collected the audience's film clips, and professional filmmakers pieced them together into a patchwork video. The performance and video were subsequently curated for a showcase at the fair/festival 'Classical: Next' in Rotterdam, the Netherlands in May 2018.