Britten for Body and Cello – Unspoken words


Choreographer-dancer: Hanna Pajala-Assefa 

Cellist and arrangements: Iida-Vilhelmiina Laine

Sound design and SoMo method: Aki Päivärinne

Wearable electronics and costumes: Liisa Pesonen 

Recordings and amplification arrangement: Aki Päivärinne

Additional recordings: Abdissa Assefa

Choreographer, dance artist Hanna Pajala-Assefa and classical cellist Iida-Vilhelmiina Sinivalo are preparing a series of interdisciplinary choreographed concerts. The first part is based on the classic Britten’s solo cello piece Cello Suite No 1, Op 72 . The concert presents a new viewpoint to traditional musical virtuosity and instrument skill by setting it into a post-modern performance context via new technology enabling musical expression through movement. The old and the new performance paradigms will meet as the cello suite is performed by a dancer and cellist. The instruments body and cello and the artists’ corporal existence are placed parallel and as equal entities when performing music and movement.

Britten’s cello suite was analysed and re-structured to enable the dancer to play the piece alongside with a cello via SoMo –method. The dismantling of the original score for the dancer followed the logic of the rehearsal practice of a cellist as one masters a musical score piece by piece, note by note. After rigorous rehearsing and re-constructing we left the original score and gave room for improvisation, listening and multi-sensory composition. We looked very closely into spatial, technological and performative elements to sculpt the final ‘choreography’ of the musical actions played and performed by the three musicians.  Coding, sound design and sculpting out the choreography and musican arrangements were all formed by the artists in an equal and highly collaborative spirit.  

The conceived piece of music and performance is inspired by the original score, but expanded and altered into a modern sonic scenery with electronic sounds and devices.  The performed physical concert is based on sensitive listening, allowing bodily actions to influence, create and alter the final score. During the performance we are constantly altering between the musical and corporal spaces of existence trying to exist together in a sensitive balance between the corporal and musical expression. Britten’s composition is taken into new millennium by sensor technology assisted live human interaction  inspired by the post II-WW war era echoing in the created sounds.

 The world premiere of Britten for Body and Cello – Unspoken words was in May 2018 in Helsinki Circo festival Humaneesi event organised together with Suomen solistiyhdistys.  

Britten for B&C - Unspoken words