10 October 2010, Penny Modra, Three Thousand
what the hell is goin on?
What the hell is going on? This is a question you will ask if you see Heiner Goebbels' Stifter's Dinge. I did. And now I'm trapped between a crazed hope that my friends will go see it too, and my total inability to describe what it is. Okay let's say it's an installation. Don't stop reading! Don't stop reading! Pianos sit among leafless trees (uprights, grands, some tipped on their sides). They play themselves via mysterious mechanical arms. Other sounds come from giant metal sheets, speakers playing Papua New Guinean call-and-response songs, and plastic post-packs whumping on the ends of drain pipes. Filled gradually from huge bottles, three large pools of water sit between the audience and the piano/forest. The voice of Bill Paterson reads a story by (imaginary?) romantic writer Adalbert Stifter. Okay then what? Oh, it just rains. (IT RAINS! In the pools!) Projected at close-range appears a transcribed interview with ethnographer Claude Levi-Strauss. Malcolm X shouts from a tinny radio in the distance. The piano choir plonks and plinks and starts rolling of its own accord - looming freakishly over at you just as you've reached a totally Zen state about 50 minutes in. Um, the pools of water start smoking and bubbling like the primordial ooze returning and you think, well, Stifter might not be here, but his things are totally. Freaking. Me. Out. Listen, I've given up the internet now to focus on my tangible contribution to humanity, but call me, I'll buy you a fucking ticket.
on: Stifters Dinge (Music Theatre)