Verschlossene Nacht

In Lifestyle by Max

Ernesto Estrella (*1974) ist Lehrer, Klangkünstler, Übersetzer und Poet. In Granada geboren und aufgewachsen, wohnte er ab 2000 zunächst in New York (Studium an der Columbia University/ Lehre an der Yale University). 2012 entdeckte er Berlin als weitere Basis für seine akademische und künstlerische Arbeit. Neben wissenschaftlichen Texten und Übersetzungen (z.B. von Thoreau’s Tagebüchern) veröffentlichte er Texte in Anthologien sowie das Buch Boca de prosas (2010). Wesentlicher Teil seiner Arbeit ist die performative Situation (youtube), in welcher ich Ernesto das erste Mal beim Fase 2014, einem Klangkunstfestival in den Räumlichkeiten des Instituto Cervantes erlebte. Das letzte Gedicht seiner Show „Atemwende/a nomadic journey“ mit Miako Klein, „Noche Cerrada“, möchte ich heute gerne vorstellen. Da Ernestos Arbeiten komplexe Texturen sind, eine kleine Materialsammlung: zunächst eine Aufnahme des Stücks als Performance, dann die spanische Textversion, die englische Übersetzung und abschließend ein Interview mit Ernesto über die Idee und der Entstehungsgeschichte von „Noche Cerrada“ (Verschlossene Nacht), die Verbindung von Atem, Text und Sound. Im Titelbild findet ihr außerdem einen Ausschnitt aus der Notation des Textes für die Aufführung, an sich ein kleines Kunstwerk.

Ernesto Estrella, Nacht, Kultmucke

Ernesto Estrella, Nacht, Textton

E-Mail Interview mit Ernesto Estrella

 What do you think about the connection of sound and text?

I understand the voice as a fragile state of sound, rhythm and silence, the possibilities of which are infinite. The voice thus moves in a realm of absolute freedom in which stable sound surfaces, such as intonation curves, word, phoneme, or breath, are only the most recognizable elements towards the exploration of a sound idea.
When the nearness of a text occurs (often a poem in my case), we have a chance for a reassessment of the act of poetry reading. Confronted with that text, and guided by the exploration of the sound-idea I might have found in it, my voice enters a sensitive and cautious search. This search is what I want to offer to the listener: the core of the creative process, the tense school of decision in which the poem has been crafted, translated into sound. In this sense, sound and voice transform the text into a device for awareness, into a place in which to sustain the listener in a state of permanent care. In other words, the voice thinks the text, instead of merely presenting it.

What where some thoughts concerning the actual pieces you presented the other night?

I will talk about the piece that closes the show [siehe oben, Anm. M.C.]: “Noche Cerrada /Closed Night” (to the boxing body, detached from the secret that it holds). The piece displays the zone that the boxing body crosses before the fight begins. An intermediate territory appears between those two bodies, a territory that trembles of fear, hunger and anticipation. In the fast and noisy seconds that confront the fighters, in the salute, in the glance, a hypnosis that will empty the challenger’s body occurs. The theft of the body happens, and the fight is decided even before it has started.
Noche cerrada is inspired in and dedicated to Mike Tyson, fragile master of fear.

How did it come into existence?

Noche cerrada started as a solo voice piece, and along with Horizon (to the body of dance), it constitutes my attempt to think body disciplines from within voice exploration. The relation of voice and body is extremely problematic. In my view and experience, the voice comes from the body, but it does not belong to it. So in both pieces my will was to display a search inside the body of the voice, which is external and autonomous. It is there that sound search happens, it is there where the creative process can be shared with an audience. Bach does this constantly, or Glenn Gould through him, better said. But somehow, the voice is too often too heavily attached to its personal breath. This blocks the emergence of a fragile and active multiplicity in vocal performance. The subjective mouthprint that our body enforces should just be just one of the elements of a generic sound process. I cannot erase my body, so I try to create the conditions for the appearance of the body of the voice.
Noche cerrada was incorporated to the Spanish composer Mauricio Sotelo’s piece Cuerpos robados (divided orchestra, violin and voice) which was premiered in September 2011 at the “Klangspuren Festival of Contemporary Music,” in Schaz-Tirol (Austria). In the set of Sotelo’s piece, Noche Cerrada takes the form of a voice/violin cadenza, played along with violinist Patricia Kopatchinskaja. The cadenza itself has also been performed on various occassions, among them, at Hannover’s “PraetoriusMusikpreis” in 2012. During the Spring of 2014, the cadenza was recorded as part of Patricia Kopatchinskaja’s duets CD, “Take Two,” which is to be released in Naïve records at the end of 2014.

What other projects have you done/ are you doing concerning the connection of sound and text?

Some new directions have appeared during last year, which is my second here in Berlin. One of them is related to the creation of musical-poetic interventions that play with the conventions and expectations of both poetry readings and musical concerts. Questions related to the placing of the audience or the role of the poet are raised here, among others. One of these interventions, entitled Cast of Words was recently presented in Berlin last May as part of the “Soundout Festival” launched by Lettrétage Litteraturhaus. For the occasion, poems by Berlin-based poet Simone Kornappel were introduced in the piece. The ensemble was integrated by musicians that are very active in the new music and experimental music scene of the city: Theo Nabitch, Miako Klein, and Markus Pesonen. This work on musical-poetic interventions is an important new direction for me, for it allows a close collaboration and combination of scenes and audiences that rarely cross paths. Berlin offers an incredibly rich poetic and experimental music circuit. And I have the impression that those of us who move between both zones are still a little shy about exploring systematically the possibilities offered there.

Foto und Text von Max Czollek
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