Silent Zone – Echo Chamber is a hybrid between an opera, interactive 3D technology and installation art. The experience lasts for less than 10 minutes and can only be viewed one person at a time. The work, which revolves around an incestuous family, is an excerpt from the delicate and award-winning chamber opera Silent Zone from 2017. The installation invites the audience inside an abstraction of a home, where the reality of non-disclosure prevails. Composer Louise Alenius wrote her libretto after collecting statements from people who have somehow been affected by abuse – and who knows how difficult it is to break with a taboo once it has settled in the walls of the home, in the family, in the body.
Alenius explains: “Silent Zone is about incest. The big problem is that we can’t look into each other’s homes and see what is going on, and when someone tries to tell us, we are not always capable of hearing. We don’t have a language to talk about incest, because it is such a taboo. And the very idea of having to break in and imply that someone would do something so cruel to their children, or others in their environment, feels violent and transgressive, so we simply do not dare to. I believe the non-disclosure is related to this completely insane taboo. So, I think that what we can do is talk about it. We can punctuate the taboo.”
A HYBRID OF GENRE
Silent Zone – Echo Chamber is a hybrid between an opera, interactive 3D technology and installation art. A cube the size of 9 x 5 metres has been built in the lower floor of Den Frie. The audience is provided with a smartphone and a pair of headphones, after which they enter into the installation. Here, the opera unfolds as a physical and sculptural soundscape for the audience to walk in to. At the same time, a family of four is observed through the phone in changing situations, and gradually a narrative emerges. You can move around freely, get close to the characters, or observe them at a distance.
Director Tue Biering describes the experience as follows: “The installation is a kind of haunted house. You enter into a seemingly deserted room, and you have the feeling that someone has just been there. Suddenly you are surrounded by “ghosts” in the form of the characters that appear digitally. You are physically alone inside the room, while a lot of situations are created around you, and you experience something that you should not have seen. You don’t see the actual abuse, but you’re witnessing something unpleasant. You should do something but are left with no opportunity to act. You are seized by powerlessness.”
Komponist og libretto: Louise Alenius / Instruktør: Tue Biering / Kreativ programmør og teknologisk udvikler: Nikolaj Stausbøl / Lyddesign: Egil Sandfeld og Mikkel Larsen / Scenograf: Marie Rosendahl Chemnitz / Rekvisitter og indretning: Josefine Thornberg-Thorsøe og Therese Annebelle Jensen / Bygger: Anders Kragholm / 3D-scanninger: Rigsters / Teknisk konsulent: Molamil/Manyone / Idéudviling og tech producer: Darshika Karunahara / Initiativtager, kreativ udvikling og producent: Tine Reingaard
Medvirkende: Kenneth Andersson, Molly Grand, Falke Lindegaard Hvidtfeldt, Marianne Søndergaard / Sangere: Morten Grove (kontratenor), Frederik Rolin (bas-bariton) / Musikere: Louise Gorm (violin), Jenny Lüning (bratsch), Lea Emilie Brøndal Pedersen (cello), Andreas Hjorth Jessen (bas), Louise Schrøder (klaver), Ying-Hsueh Chen (percussion)
Special thanks to: Alfred Kann, Copenhagen Opera Festival, Edition Wilhelm Hansen, Gitta-Maria Sjöberg, Khora, Makropol, Miljø Tæpper Rødovre, Molamil/Manyone, Mona Alenius Kaniewski, Per Achen and Sten Byriel.