The character Niemana (solo piano + electronic device – Essentia)
The name Niemana is made up of the German word Niemand which means « nobody ».
and the Polynesian word Mana, which means both « strength » in the sense of physical and spiritual power and « Spirit » that inhabits a thing or a being.
Niemana is the key character of a stage cycle, the omnipresent narrator of this act, a transhumanist figure who, like a vampire, has crossed the ages, and, satisfied with all the human imaginations, narrates the drama in which he must make believe, to exist as a semblance of human among humans. With his knowledge and age, influencing the collective unconscious, manipulating his audience, playing with human heroes as if they were avatars in a virtual universe, are his weapons in the war against his only enemy: boredom and the introspection that results from it. Niemana immerses us in the powerful universe of his philosophy, which extends with strength through the richness of his perspectives. Narrating scenic acts, he carries within him the ideas that generate the scenic ecosystem that he recounts, both through the observation of the elements and through animal, vegetable, human, extra- and trans-human encounters.
The video below presents some excerpts from the creation of Niemana’s 1st reflection created in collaboration with my brother and visual artist François Schwamborn during the evening of presentation of the Quattropole Prize for innovative Music at the Kunstfabrik in the city of Trier in Germany, birthplace of the philosopher and economist Karl Marx.
The form of the first reflection of Niemana has three parts.
In the first part only the piano sounds. In the second part the space opens up for an interplay between the piano and the sounds reworked by the Essentia instrument and their visual « translation » (colour piano). In the third and final part, the digital instrument reproduces in an original way the sounds recorded in the first part and distributes them in virtual space, soloistically and like a reflection. The performer has already left the stage. The imaginary dialogue between man and machine takes place. Who shot the Piano man ?
This 1st reflection is part of the research project Essentia whose goal is the development of a digital instrument.
Essentia‘s basic idea is to abstract and capture the diversity of an expression and an emotion. I am interested in exploring the mechanisms and possibilities of machine sensitive communication. Focusing on non-verbal communication, a meta-language is formed in an interaction between man and machine, the essence of which results from the analysis, translation and processing of concrete behavioral patterns. To this end, the principle of dialogue is abstracted and reduced to three basic mechanisms that shape the exchange:
I. Recording. /Input / Listening /Awareness /
III. playback. /Output / Storytelling / Representation /