Evros Walk Water II
Daniel Wetzel / Rimini Protokoll
Fast Forward Festival @ Onassis Cultural Centre [Greece]
Hebbel Am Ufer HAU 2 [Germany]
We cannot be with you. That’s why you are the musicians and we are the conductors." Over the course of an hour, the audience is both a collective of listeners and a temporary orchestra. Given a lifeboat, a plastic gun, a Ferrari toy car and a paddle to play rather than musical instruments, this orchestra is conducted remotely by six young boys, who give instructions to the players through earphones and share their stories, creating a joyful experience of collaboration and narration. Redefining the relation between composition, musician and audience while offering access to the work of John Cage from the source of its humour and concept of liberation.
It started in 2015 when the six youngsters were temporarily housed by the Society for the Care of Minors in Exarchia. They had come to Greece from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Pakistan and Syria without their parents. The boys were introduced to Water Walk (1959), the iconic work by American composer John Cage which is played on household items rather than musical instruments. The development process with the boys led to the replacement of the original instruments and sounds with different ones reflecting their stories, as they talk about their reasons for fleeing their home countries, the journey to Europe, and their daily life in Athens. The stage is designed in a way which allows the concert to happen without the boys being present (Evros Walk Water, 2015).
Evros Walk Water 1 & 2 is a reworked and extended version of that first project which has toured several countries but never Greece. Some of the youngsters are now residents in other European countries; all of them are in the process of becoming adults. Life went on and now new questions arise:
Did you make new friends over there? Are the Swiss more racist than the Dutch? With whom do you play counterstrike now? Do you finally drive a motorbike around Exarheia? Do you still dream to travel to Europe? Do you still use hairspray? How do you dance?"