P N E U M A T I C K S
- an inhalation and exhalation in four movements
for winds, voices, strings and images
PNEUMATICKS is a cinematic symphonic work about the source and unification of body and soul. In northern Uganda, at the source of the Nile, lives Leotissa Ayelango. She makes pots from two types of soil, that exist on each side of her village, Nyaravur. Blending the soil with the water from the river, shaping it with small fragments of old pots and creating new ones. Her work happens in balance between earth, air, water and fire.
We follow her in real time, with the breath’s inhale, exhale and pauses like symphonic markers - on a cyclical journey, into the creation of a soul, a lung of air that contains a life. Her task is infinite. She unifies the elements. She creates constantly while she lives. With arduous effort and perfect ambition, she moves us around and shapes the world, like the source of life itself.
PNEUMATICKS, audio-visual work, 55 minutes.
Film: Day-for-night recordings = moonlight. Long shots follow 4 phases of the creation of a pot: Balanced soil walks the earth. Fertile earth, digs the soil. Fired earth gives birth. Hand polished dirt is mortal coil.
Music: Through-composed symphonic work in 4 movements for two cellos, tree singers and one bass clarinet, with individual elements of improvisation. The work is acoustic throughout, but also contains electronically manipulated sounds and effects.
The work is a result of close collaboration among the composers and visual artists.
“Each second, each breath is a work which is inscribed nowhere, which is neither visual nor cerebral, it’s a sort of constant euphoria.”
- Marcel Duchamp
The four movements
I movement is composed as a long and slowly growing intensity, where we follow Leotissa from the place where the soil is recovered to her studio. It is filmed in one shot and lasts exactly the time it takes her to move from the one place to the other.
II movement the recovery of the two types of soil, that need to be mixed to create the shapeable clay. The composition consists of two parallel layers: one that becomes softer and milder and another that grows in intensity.
III movement withholds two progresses. A rhythmic character in movement, volume and variation, that evolves into a long drone. The burning that becomes embers and transforms the plastic clay to ceramics.
IV depicts the forming process. The preparation of the soil to become clay; forming, calendaring, texturizing and detailing. Repetitive structures and descending phrases gather and dissolve again and again in a final cacophony of movement.
Words and names that appear in PNEUMATICKS
Leo-tis-sa The woman we follow and to whom the piece is dedicated.
Pû-ra-ka The pause immediately after an inhalation.
Re-cha-ka The pause immediately after an exhalation.
Kum-bha-ka Cutting off a breathing cycle, undependent of either in- or exhalation.
I-tu-ri The North Eastern Region of Congo where Lake Albert and the Blue Mountains, are part of creating the southern beginning of the Nile.
Nya-ra-vur A village situated in the Nort Western part of Uganda, where Leotissa has her workshop. Nyaravur is about 15 kilometers distance from Lake Albert and borders the Ituri region.
Installation and live performance
PNEUMATICKS is developed as an installation where the music is prerecorded and as a live performance, where the music is played live to the film by the PNEUMATICKS ensemble.
Visual artists: Ann Sophie von Bülow and Ulrik Heltoft
Composers: Lil Lacy and Signe Lykke
Musicians: Katinka Fogh Vindelev (soprano), Laura Mayer (alto), Simon Rønne Rischel (baritone), Morten Lohmann Sønderskov Jensen (bass clarinet), Soma Allpass (cello) and Lil Lacy (cello)
Sound technician: Bjørn Gjessing
PNEUMATICKS is supported by
CLICK festival, Dansk Musiker Forbund, Syddjurs kommune, Den Ny Maltfabrik, Dansk Skuespillerforbund, Dansk Komponistforening, KODA's kulturelle midler, Aarhus2017 and Statens Kunstfond