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Cascando, by Samuel Beckett
Excerpts, adapted and performed by Philipp Danzeisen and Nina Waisman

Performance in Germany
An interactive, improvisational performance of Samuel Beckett's radio play "Cascando". Sensors and other live sound processing techniques are used in this technologically-spiked exploration of Beckett's text. A newspaper wall is "played", conflating Beckett's search for the perfect story with our contemporary, insatiable hunger for mediated "truths".

Below is some rough video documentation of a live performance. The microphone is situated in the audience, but you can still get a good feel for the sound. We had hoped to arrange simple spotlighting on the two performers, but time ran short so the house auto-lighting was used - Philipp is a bit hard to see for this reason..

(You'll need the Quicktime 7 player/plug-in windows or mac).

Videos may need to fully or partially download before sound and image sync up.

Cascando: Rough Video of a performance

The standing character plays Beckett's text using sensors wired to her body. Her gestures in front of the newspaper wall create the improvised "reading". She initiates the textplay by bowing. She tunes the pitch, volume and speed of the reading with her hands, torso and legs, altering her movements and timing in relation to the music created by the other.

The musician lies on the floor upstage. A control box on his chest can barely be reached - it allows him to call up sounds from a limited library created for the play. His hands and feet are lashed to guitar pedals which he struggles to control, altering the music as he improvises along the way.

Both players are bound, as are the voices in Beckett's play.

Project Credits
Philipp Danzeisen: midi/music & pedal design & performance
Nina Waisman: voice & sensor design & performance
Pierre Galaud: logistics, set building, hauling, humor
Shahrokh Yadegari: help with pd programming
Holger Grossman: concert programming & organiztion

Thank you to Jazzclub Ilmenau & the Audiomostly conference for sponsoring this event!