Crossover – opera - project of the "Liquid Penguin Ensemble" and "pazzaCaglia"
Special challenges / difficulties:
On the one hand this project offered the big musical range from the baroque-music up to the contemporary-music of our modern times. On the other hand, there was a tremendously wide dynamic range from soft whispering to almost unbearably loud noise, from very rough up to the most filigree sound structures, from natural voice up to "eavesdropped" telephone calls. All that was to be realized in a way that, over course of the play, the audience should forget there was any sound-reinforcement in use.
Across times – beginning with the classical Orpheus's myth - a thread is spun in time starting with the premiere of Luigi Rossis "L'Orfeo" of 1647 up to our present times. Over and over again the play tells the story of the being left alone following the example of the descendants of Eurydice over the years.
One of the biggest challenges was that I had to develop a sound-concept which made it possible to play the piece adequately in a theatrical environment, on a studio stage as well as in a big empty industrial hall.
The very different acoustical outputs of the instruments which had to play together was also a rather difficult job: Thus, baroque-cello, a lute and harpsichord were not only to play together like common in baroque-music, they also had to play along with a Contrabass-clarinet played via guitar fuzz-box over a guitar-amplifier/speaker-cabinet without losing their natural character. A phone-system was an installed across the stage with receivers for live communication used by different actors. An old record player, on which a vinyl disc was played live, had to be part of the play as well. Singers and actors had to be supported by microphones. These microphones had to have a permanent proper time-alignment so that the audience never got the impression of an electrical reinforcement of the voices.
It was necessary to position the mixing board in the middle of the audience to be able adequately handle the adjustment of the sound issues'. To avoid drawing the eyes of the audience from the play it was absolutely necessary to use a very small sound mixing-board which nevertheless was able to handle the 30 input-channels. I decided to use a Yamaha LS9-16.
Liquid Penguin Ensemble: