Things have not always been the way they are now. Neither society, nor emotions, nor people – the interface between them, as it were. But not only societies and emotions have changed over the centuries, but also the ways of expressing them or fencing them in. And yet, the attempt to deal with emotions through music, to pacify, regulate and cultivate them, is one of the original techniques necessary to build a society.
Take Renaissance opera, for example, the great “powerhouse of emotions”. Here, extreme emotional states, cast in music, are pretty much normal – from the feeling of eternal love to unquenchable hatred and everlasting revenge: vendetta, vendetta!
But what came first, language or singing? Could there have been a time when there really was no great difference between them? According to some theories, singing in a choir preceded actual speech: Singing in a group was part of an initial communication and it began to disappear with the emergence of articulated language.
But because history is just like music, the truth will not be found lie in a linear series of facts (or notes) but in their parallel movement: many stories, many melodies that could not be told without each other. A parallel history of polyphony.
In his works, Thomas Köck
continuously explores the economic, ecological and global consequences and traces of human actions. In his new text for Schauspiel Leipzig, he follows the power and the history of emotions. With a choir of people living in Leipzig today, Köck and musician Andreas Spechtl investigate the history of love, anger, law and revenge. A choir against isolation but also against becoming indistinguishable. Communal singing as “simultaneous otherness” and yet also as an act of mutual interdependency.
Thomas Köck is one of the leading voices of contemporary drama. He has won several awards for his theatre texts, among them the 2018 Literaturpreis Text & Sprache of Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft and the Mülheim Dramatists’ Award for “paradies spielen (abendland. ein abgesang)”, the third part of his climate trilogy in 2018, and for “atlas
”, premiered at Schauspiel Leipzig’s Diskothek, in 2019. Under the label of “ghostdance”, Köck and Andreas Spechtl develop hauntological ready-mades. Apart from working as a theatre musician and developing several solo projects, Andreas Spechtl is the singer, guitarist and songwriter of the band Ja, Panik. Set and costume designer Martin Miotk has worked for theatres like Residenztheater München and Deutsche Oper Berlin and has directed plays and films.