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The Space Between the Notes - XLII

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"The price of freedom is uncertainty." - Lukas Bärfuss

Literary-musical journey to the center of Europe
Stage production by and with Lukas Bärfuss and Gwendolyn Masin

THE JOURNEY takes the audience on a travel to the center of Europe. Lukas Bärfuss recites texts, and I, accompanied by the ORIGIN Ensemble and the cymbalist Miklós Lukács, play rarely performed music by, for example, Zara Levina, Mykola Lyssenko and Grigoras Dinicu, but also well-known composers such as Béla Bartók or Ernest Bloch.

THE JOURNEY uses texts and music to tell the stories of people, countries, wars, resistance. Lukas Bärfuss, in the role of a literary reporter, creates new contexts from conversations with people, travel memories, from current news and literature.
I draw from the musical archives of the region and let forgotten and lost music sound.

THE JOURNEY is an evening at the intersection of concert, reading and music theater. It shows the diversity of the regions traveled through, their differences and their commonalities. THE JOURNEY is a plea against sedentariness and for the way of life of the travellers, for the border crossers, for culture as a contraband.

Life on the Fringes of Society

Barfuss und Masin 18 Web Res Gwendolyn Masin Photo: Florian Spring

Lukas Bärfuss and I developed THE JOURNEY from our own experiences as descendants of stigmatised and marginalised families. It is a mosaic of stories that shows what life on the margins of society feels like, and documents how some of the most haunting stories and melodies emerge from these margins.

THE JOURNEY aims to make people aware that the anonymous refugees we hear about on the news are people with dreams, hopes and stories. The journey leads from Odesa and Istanbul on the Black Sea via Bucharest, Albania, Macedonia, Sarajevo to Switzerland and back to Budapest.

Music as a Universal Language

Barfuss und Masin 27 Web Res Gwendolyn Masin Photo: Florian Spring

Music, arising in a particular place, journeys through space and time. Music connects, regardless of skin color, faith, age, gender. It is a place of gathering. Music as a universal language is a measure of time and a mirror of cultural diversity.

In the stories written and told by Lukas Bärfuss about people on the road, their music is woven in, written by Swiss composers, such as Antoine Auberson (*Lausanne) or Daniel Schnyder (*Zurich). The work by Auberson is a premiere.

The political divisions and wars of Europe in the 20th century forcibly separated people, families, entire societies. European history can be read as an attempt by nation states to find their own identity by rejecting the foreign. The culture of the Travellers, Gypsies and Roma, but also Jewish history, is a culture of the journey, a culture of no man's land.

Developed long before, the attack on Ukraine in February 2022 has given THE JOURNEY a terrible topicality and an unexpected urgency. Our gaze goes to the people holding out in their bombed-out homes, to the millions fleeing the country. The refugees can take little with them, a small suitcase with their belongings; but they are rich in music, in songs, in stories, in experiences.

Performance dates

1/11/23 20:00 Gare du Nord, Basel (premiere)
2/11/23 20:00 Gare du Nord, Basel
3/11/23 19:30 KKT, Thun
4/11/23 20:00 Casino Bern, Bern
5/11/23 18:00 Theater Rigiblick, Zurich

6/11/23 20:00 Theater Rigiblick, Zurich
7/11/23 19:30 Kurtheater, Baden
8/11/23 19:30 TAK, Schaan, Liechtenstein
22/11/23 19:30 House of Music, Budapest, Hungary

> Read more about THE JOURNEY

The journey V2 plakat A2 ALL web Gwendolyn Masin Photo: Florian Spring // Graphic Design: Neidhart Grafik