A New Trio At Solitude

»At the first meeting we were just talking. Afterwards, Nicolas played some music in his studio, just to see if there was anything that was of interest to me. At the end, we both found that we could work together and should give it a try. « – Desiré, choreographer and dancer from South Africa, wanted to work with a classical music instrument which would be played and manipulated in a different manner by the musician. On arrival at Solitude, she sent out a mail to the musicians who were currently living at the Akademie. Nicolas responded. »The kind of improvisation that I do on the (prepared) piano works pretty well with dance,« explains the French composer and musician. »It was the first time, that I worked with dancers, but there is something physical in my improvisation as well. It is also an expression of my own body experience.« Dorine (Democratic Republic of the Congo), also choreographer and dancer joined the collaboration out of a need to share with another body, different to his own, to explore a new musical environment where everything is born from improvisation and where this improvisation pushes us to go deeper into our different experiences.

As such the collaboration then became a trio – a TRIO sans titre (TRIO without title) – and a performance was created which was shown as a work in progress in public for the first time at Osthang Project Darmstadt. Working together was surprisingly easy although a flexible mind was a necessity. »The music of Nicolas is not an easy melody that carries you and your movements…we did not want this. We wanted to see what we could create with our bodies in the space without having a story line or one fixed idea. How we react to one another, to the music proposed, as well as the silences. It is about time, bodies in the space, between the spaces, with or against the notes, sounds and silences.« As we work with improvisation, it is also about the choices we make and the influences of our individual histories that feed these choices.«

To leave this space open for new directions, ideas and to keep this openness also for the audience, the trio decided to stay without a title, but to encourage the audience each time they perform to propose one. »At Thinking Together there was a lot of discussion about the power of the imagination and the power of imagery. Also the histories of imageries within our bodies. We all come from different countries and we have different images in our bodies. So what do we project? And what does the audience see?« asks Desiré. The titles are collected from performance to performance to grow a polyphonic cloud of different interpretations and images around the piece to be used in the performance again in the future.

Desiré, Dorine, and Nicolas will try to carry on with the cooperation and hope to find time and space to get back together again. Osthang Project was a start: »It made sense to perform the piece here because the Osthang project is about architecture and that is what we are doing with our bodies in the space as well.«


Funded by the TURN Fund of the Federal Cultural Foundation »TURN – Fund for Artistic Cooperation between Germany and African Countries«.