Voice Over

Music theater for Ensemble, Electronics, Voice and Miscellaneous

Voice Over | hoergeREDE Festival | Ensemble szene instrumental | Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten | Graz, Austria [11/12/2013]
Photo Credits: hoergeREDE Festival ©


After the crisis is the crisis is before the crisis – the mantra about the unquestionable veracity of the supreme imperative of the necessity of growth-oriented economic activity is, it seems, the ultimate veritas of the advancing twenty-first century. Consumerists, closed in the cycle of accumulation-waste-throw-away, are becoming increasingly numb. Information overload leads to loneliness, even stupidity, in a time of overpopulation and exponential increase of knowledge. There is hardly any time left to think and reflect, we are at the mercy and disgrace of ourselves and the world. The collective subconscious capitulates to the all-pervasive power of the ‘over-s’. Thus it is difficult not to wonder if this is not part of some master plan after all; perhaps a kind of slavery 2.0, a ‘software-ized’, ‘algorythmisized’ art of enslavement, when the masses perceive their highly subjectivized existence, hemmed in by the spell of capital and the virtual world, as freedom.

This year’s hoergeREDE Festival for + Series for SpeechSoundArt & Noise is entirely dedicated to the new leitmotif macht and the question of how [the art of ‘the post-crisis years’] has to be, what it has to do, not to be and not to do, now that everything is spinning and rocking, where the individual’s freedoms of potential self-development are in starkest contradiction to the willingness to conform, where the economic prosperity of western democracies & the individual presure for the increase of happiness meet constant increase of mental illnesses worldwide, where the overeating of the one causes the hunger of the other.

What actually IS power? This was the question I naturally asked myself when I knew that I would be writing a composition in collaboration with Johannes Schrettle and Markus Steinkellner for this year’s edition of the hoergeREDE festival. In what form could my sonic explorations of the theme manifest themselves?

The full-length music theater project Voice Over takes up the idea of a TV series, or more precisely: ‘the making off’ of it. In the 12 episodes of the first season, a city is depicted that is slowly but surely, increasingly, populated (and that means privatized) by the dead. The TIME factor plays a crucial role, the city/text/order falling apart more and more as the series continues.

Compositionally, I do not want to reproduce the dramaturgical course of this story in the sense of a film score. Rather, I would like to try to create a space-time sound continuum, a kind of parallel sound universe, in which the linearity of the familiar world is not authoritative, but where hypothetical alternative realities gain the upper hand.

The swamp of the primeval forest forms the fundamental background soundscape, which is sent into the space by the ensemble and is taken up and processed in a multi-layered way. In counterpoint with Schrettle’s text poetry and Steinkellner’s live electronics, an unbreakable net is created; a bubble composed of misleading impulses.

The goal is the free fall through the bottomless abyss, floating fluidly in endless nothingness…

Belma Bešlić-Gál [04/2013]

[...] it was clear from the beginning,
that silence would reign here for an episode.
About the same silence that will reign when all is over.
and then the silence when someone sits in a car and doesn't drive off.
and then the silence inside a watermelon.
and then the silence just before someone turns on the music.
and then the silence after a scream... [...]

Johannes Schrettle, Voice Over. Episode silence.


Duration: ca. 65‘
Instrumentation: Flute/Alto Flute/Bass Flute, Tenor Trombone, Percussion, Violin, Viola, Violoncello, Sound Projection, Live-Electronics, Text, Live-Narrative, Sculptures, Sound Islands, Light Projections, Ligthtning, Video
Text: Johannes Schrettle
Live electronics: Markus Steinkellner
In collaboration with szene instrumental and hoergeREDE Festival
Conducted by: Wolfgang Hattinger
Premiere: Voice Over | hoergeREDE Festival | Ensemble szene instrumental | Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten | Graz, Austria [11/12/2013]

List of performances

Voice Over | hoergeREDE Festival | Ensemble szene instrumental | Kulturzentrum bei den Minoriten | Graz, Austria [11/12/2013]