We were asked by the Canja ensemble to help them think about their performance in the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ as a musical trio – oboe, clarinet and bassoon – and to design a scenery that supports their image as a musical trio. Normally the ensemble likes to perform in a homely or intimate atmosphere to strengthen their interaction with the public but this is hardly possible in the large venue of the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ.
For us, it was left the task to design – with the smallest resources – a decor that would make this interaction possible.
We decided to construct the whole decor of the program booklets – a4’s – to minimize the cost of the decor. We built a wall of these programs that stretched out over nearly the entire width of the podium and instead of placing this decor behind the artist, we decide to place the decor between the artist and the spectator and so draw a barrier between them.
By placing the decor in front of the musicians we try to make the barrier between performer and spectator – that we think is always there – visible.
After entering the venue the audience has to come up to the podium and take their piece of the decor – the program – before returning to their seat.
In this proces the audience helps taking away the barrier between them and the performer and it shapes the decor itself. The remaining form is the result of the action of the public and focuses the view of the spectator on the trio.
By doing this we hoped to stimulate the interaction between the artist and the spectator by literaly bringing the spectator into the play and close to the artist.
The artist is situated directly behind the decor and slowly becomes visibale during the process of shaping the decor. While picking up their program the spectator can engage in small conversation with the artist or take a glance at their preparation.photography: Raoul Kramer.