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Carmina Slovenica

Carmina Slovenica is a production house covering a variety of activities: production of concerts and stage projects, festivals, publishing and education programs.

… Musical partner that can only search for an equal in Europe: Vocal Theatre Carmina Slovenica is the name of this fascinating choral formation from the Slovene Maribor …
Neue Music Zeitung

CHOREGIE

Festival and competition

cycles

 

Choregie represents two fields: the artistic principle of creation of music and scenic/theatre projects, and a specific method which I developed to work with ensembles as a preparation for Choregie projects. The idea of choregie refers to how concerts are designed in terms of the repertoire, the level of concert performativity, various manifestations of music-scenic projects and the nature of processes. The music which is the foundation of all Choregie projects is new music – music of our time that is not commonly performed on stages and is therefore considered 'new'. By that I mean for instance medieval music, folk music or even music that is taken from or placed into specific contexts, sociological or historical.

Choregie is reflected primarily in the programming of music – not only in the choice of music works but also in the dramaturgy of how they are incorporated into the concert programme. The repertoires encompass a wide range of music, from early to contemporary, from ethnic to avant-garde, from art to popular music; the programmes are carefully considered on the micro level of individual projects as well as in a wider context of longer periods of time. The choice of music is based either on a correlation of styles, a common thread, sometimes as a sharp confrontation of styles and in specific, often topical social contexts. The selected music is a fusion of genres, eclectic in terms of music style, always performed with extreme dedication and utmost precision of the performers, whereby Choregie is reflected also in the performative sense, albeit on a music event ‘only’. The performers who have experienced the Choregie method are suggestive, precise, dedicated, they radiate energy, zeal, they are independent, confident and communicative. Their instrument is not limited to voice only, it also involves their body. The concept encompasses everything, the presence of the heard, seen, experienced. I play with group dynamics – conformingly and non-conformingly – and thus maintain the dramatic air; the act of performing is delicate and at the same time virtuosic and intensive. 

In music the score is directly controlled by the musician; the reception of the performed work thus depends solely on his or her incentives. Music in Choregie, however, requires a completely different input by the musician and the audience. Namely, it involves an element which adds to the intensity of expression of the heard (music and text) the culture of the seen, the culture of the eye, a feeling for the external form. The performances combine various expressions (movement, dance, singing, speech, images, etc.) that are used either in balance or in favour of one of them. Their changing fusion creates rich levels of meaning. Such performativity of music or music theatre evades a narrow characterisation, but the prevailing element of Choregie projects is always music. In the Choregie process I am interested in the musicality of the whole creative process: from the rehearsals and the creation of the meta-composition to the final staging. Musicality is a method of creation and it means that all materials/parameters are organised according to the logic of music. They have their own rhythm, dynamics, form, articulation and tempo. 

I understand Choregie as a special form of searching and exploring. A Choregie project is created when I wish to create a space in music for a text to delayer into more than just one meaning or communicate with the non-musical more intensely than in a concert performance. When creating a meta-score, it is for me exciting being able to allow the materials on which Choregie is built different possibilities, discover in them different perspectives, levels and layers, again and again. That is particularly exciting when performing new music, which is the most common material for Choregie projects, it having multiple layers to uncover. I try to position the Choregie elements/expressions in such a way that they can be read again several times in different ways – there is a seductive dialogue going on inside the Choregie field between the sound and the space, between the performers and the audience, between the audience and the sound. Choregie is a space of rehierarchisation of the standard music and theatre elements. The elements constituting Choregie projects should not illustrate and not duplicate each other. They should maintain their own identity outside the conventional hierarchy. Choregie projects can be ‘theatrical’, but without the traditional theatre elements – the dramatic in them derives from the way music is performed and is not based on the ‘acting’ in the classical sense. In Choregie we cannot really talk about the dramatic or expressive as known in the opera since Choregie is about an absence of a dominant story. Choregie does develop a certain theme that inspired the project; there might be hints of a narrative, but not in the sense of a plot or relationships between the protagonists. The absence of a story means that there is an absence of any direct and expected connection between the heard and the seen, which gives the audience a freedom of reception and response, gives way to imagination and feelings. 

Choregie is thus a spacious workshop where all kinds of relations between stage-scenic and music material is being tested and evaluated. It is a reflection of the oldest stage art – music theatre – and an examining of the future of new music in its different performativity.  

Karmina Šilec

CHOREGIE
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