POETRY AFFAIRS 2
piece for three voices and a psychotherapist (2023)
Text by Cia Rinne and Gemma Ragués
Composition by Gemma Ragués
with Johanna Vargas, Guillermo Anzorena, and Andreas Fischer
Composition commission from Musik der Jahrhunderte
This problem is entirely renewable.
This problem refuses to negotiate with you.
This problem should better have a good explanation.
Three characters meet with a therapist to discuss the course of human affairs, but soon realize the situation takes a competitive turn, with Gaia alias Johanna Vargas luring Problem I (Andreas Fischer) and Problem II (Guillermo Anzorena) into following her, but then proceeding to a display of verbal definition, repetition, and abstraction, while Dr. Fraud (Gemma Ragués) tries to make sense of their internal relations. Verbal cascades at the border of spoken and sung text.
»Europe is always both myth and utopia. Perhaps the ancient form of the poem, reaching back to mythical times, is not the worst means of establishing at what point on the road to an ideal Europe we are. Perhaps it is in the poem, this by no means outmoded linguistic feat, that the present fears, hopes, expectations, tensions of Europe can become visible as if under a burning glass…« Jan Wagner
Inspired by his anthology »Grand Tour. Journeys through the Young Poetry of Europe«, the Neue Vocalsolisten, together with Büchner Prize winner Jan Wagner, invited five female poets and five young composer from ten different European countries to explore together the relationships between language, composition and vocal art. The multifaceted, year-long encounter is characterized by great impartiality, a desire to experiment, and the need to overcome all mutual »instrumentalization« (of music by serving sensations, of language by reducing it to sound phenomena).
In microstories, staged readings and songs, the artists explore all possibilities of combining the three genres. Five short performances by POETRY AFFAIRS will open the five festival evenings and foreshadow the hybrid encounter of music and poetry that the 17-member artist community will flesh out into a grand narrative over the course of the coming year and premiere at ECLAT 2024.
With the poets Maria Barnas (Netherlands), Vera Burlak (Belarus), Luljeta Lleshanaku (Albania), Deryn Rees-Jones (Wales), Cia Rinne (Finland),
the composers Severin Dornier (Germany), Bnaya Halperin-Kaddari (Israel), Georgia Koumara (Greece), Dariya Maminova (Russia), Gemma Ragués Pujol (Catalonia)
and the New Vocal Soloists Johanna Vargas, Susanne Leitz-Lorey, Truike van der Poel, Daniel Gloger, Martin Nagy, Guillermo Anzorena, Andreas Fischer
»Probleme über Probleme« by Valeska Maria Müller (age 20)
Composer Gemma Ragués Pujol about Poetry Affairs 2 »Problems«