Photographs from Igitur

Sounding Mallarme's invisible theatre (extract)

The starting point for the theatrical presentation of Igitur was the concept of a performance where all constituent elements, whether sonic or visual, would hold an equal yet interchangeable function in the perception of the audience. The performance borrows Mallarmé’s address to Igitur’s readers, and extends its implications to a theatre audience: it is the audience which organises the “things” of the performance. The synchronicity of the performance elements allows spectator / listeners to create different sets of perceptual backdrops which can be raised or lowered subjectively and at will; to use a more Mallarmean metaphor, the performance elements become the various surfaces of a constantly moving fold. In every instant of the performance, audience members have the ability to guide their perception and explore individual foldings...

The sonic distribution of the “composed” and pre-recorded material, as well as the chance element that characterised the live production of sound decentralised the sonic stimuli. The audience cannot identify the sources of any given sonic stimulus, and is thus encouraged to perceive sound as a spatial characteristic, rather than a mere sonic accompaniment. This effect is augmented by the fact that the performing musicians (live electronics & two vocalists) are situated behind the audience, partially obstructed from view by two columns; they can therefore be glimpsed, but not consistently seen by all audience members. The only point in the performance where sound is identified with its source occurs in the space of the silent actor. Towards the end of the performance, the actor recites the passage entitled The dice. The unamplified presentness of the voice, and the ensuing silence that occurs from the part of the musicians (one of the few “constants” of the sound design), in a sense function as a denouement for the performance. Nevertheless, they do not signify an absolute end; rather, they lead to the exit/death of the actor and the re-emergence of both amplified sound and pre-recorded text. The presentness of language only functions in a self-annihilatory way: language becomes present, only to reveal its inadequacy and promote the nothingness that underlines the whole of Mallarmé’s text...

Mallarmé had once likened the act of reading to “a solitary silent concert” to arrive at the idea that “music … is poetry par excellence”. Despite the elusive and cryptic nature of Mallarmé’s text, which in its unstaged form would have provoked the intense commitment of a single reader in order to be somehow deciphered, the performance of Igitur dissolved any sense of solitary, isolated activity, and approached the text in a collective fashion. The fragmentary character of the text, and Mallarme’s conscious choice to break apart his authorial persona and lose himself within the prose of Igitur, provided a platform on which people from different artistic backgrounds met and created a true ensemble piece, where multiple intents and subjective approaches came to merge. The “solitary, silent concert” that the Mallarmean text invites his reader to engage with was thus transformed into an equally intense but fundamentally reactive, collective, intersubjective, and therefore embodied sense of silence.

(co-authored by Danae Stefanou, Ioannis Kotsonis and Themelis Glynatsis. This paper was presented in the Theatre Noise conference, Central School of Speech and Drama, London, 24/04/04)

Igitur: the map of the space

Igitur: the mirror scene (excerpt from performance)

Igitur: the mirror scene (excerpt from rehearsal)

Igitur: excerpt from a rehearsal


Acte Vide @ Cafe OTO

ACTE VIDE + Grundik Kasyansky / Eddie Prevost / Jerry Wigens


WEDNESDAY 22nd April 2009

Times : 8pm

Tickets : £5


Acte Vide is an open-ended duo project between Yannis Kotsonis and Danae Stefanou. It consists of a series of improvised sessions that take place in public or domestic settings, and involve mainly piano and electronics, but extend to voice, percussion, and any found object in sight. Our sessions explore the constant circle of reactivity that emerges from the real-time, spontaneous interaction between two sound sources and two personalities. They are therefore intimate, dense and concentrated, and are treated and documented as one-off performances.

All our recorded sessions are available for download at http://acte-vide.blogspot.com

Grundik Kasyansky (electronics), Eddie Prevost (percussion), Jerry Wigens (clarinet)

Bound by a common commitment to experimentation and the exploration of sound material, the trio are regular participants in Prevost’s weekly workshop. Eddie Prevost needs little introduction, being one of the leading performers and theorists in the field of improvisation, widely known for his work with AMM. Grundik Kasyansky works both solo and with others in the fields of improvisation and installation, and designs sound for dance, theatre and film. He was born in Moscow in 1974 and has lived in New York and also in Israel where he formed the leading experimental duo Grundik+Slava. Jerry Wigens is an improviser and composer, and is active as both a guitarist and clarinetist. He is involved in a wide range of musical activities involving an improvisational approach.

The three have never played together as a trio.

Igitur in front of the feather


Ένα απόσπασμα από τον "Ιγκιτούρ"

ή τα ζάρια –
απορρόφηση του τυχαίου

Πάνω στην τέφρα των άστρων, την αδιαίρετη τέφρα της
οικογένειας, ήταν ξαπλωμένο, το δύστυχο πλάσμα,
αφού πρώτα ήπιε τη σταγόνα του μηδενός, που λείπει απ’τη θάλασσα.
(To άδειο φιαλίδιο, τρέλα , μόνον αυτό άραγε έχει απομείνει
από τον πύργο ;) Χωρίς πια το Μηδέν, δεν απομένει παρά ο πύργος της καθαρότητας.
(μετ. Μ. Ευσταθιάδη)

The space - ready