Contemporary theatre sound in The Balkans: A synchronous approach to Molière ’s “Imaginary Invalid”

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sidering the timeline; the sound of subway doors entering and people walking on the platform contradicts the 17th century scenery, but in some way, correspondingly compliments it. Primarily inspired by our collective exploration of Neue Musik and dissimilar ways of approaching theatre sound at the Institute of Applied Theatre Studies, the implementation of distant noises and sounds that complement each other has become a habitual way of musical expression and appeared naturally whilst composing. On the other hand, the piece is enthused by Nikola Kodjabashia’s composing approach[4] that consists of elements of the traditional ethnic style with exceptional adjustments, along with the rules of contemporary composition, the piece differs in style but manages to create a solemn, yet steady atmosphere – or as steady as possible, considering the inevitable presence of the precarious element that is always intertwined with the Balkan society which directly influences our innate ways of creating sound. The solo player on the cello also gives a different vibe to the scenery – unlike Opus 2, the mood consists of elements close to the new wave of composers in Western Europe, quite dissimilar to the ones that are in reciprocity with the ethnic, Southeast Europe’s sound of melodic scales, fast rhythms and slight crescendos that reappear throughout the piece. This particular sound of high heels rushing and a distant voice from the subway driver in the background was an idea that has been brought up along with the director of the play – noticing that it adds a different touch to the entire feeling of seriousness and obscurity, transforming the experience on the stage and explicitly showing the contemporary sound influence that is now appearing in countries that went through a total transition, or as Buden points out, countries where there is an “innocent restart”. Buden’s particular ways of describing the total atmosphere of the countries where the experiences of a difficult past still prevail is also complementary to the entire artistic perspective in the region, and by taking that into consideration, the contradictory styles that emerge from contemporary composers from The Balkans are inevitably visible:

“The ‘child’ in post-communism is a sort of ground zero of society on which every catastrophe, the one inherited from the past as well as the new, self-created one, can be recompensed. It is an instance of a primal social innocence thanks to which it becomes possible to integrate everything that happens, including ‘the inadmissible, the intolerable’ (Nancy) into a new heroic Robinsonade; and to retell it as a universally comprehensible narrative about an innocent restart.”[5]




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