Photo: Michel van der Aa
Linz 2009 (still from film), Michel van der Aa dir.
Aa, Michel van der
The Book of Disquiet (2008)
(Das Buch der Unruhe)
Duration: 75 minutes
Music theatre for actor, ensemble and film
Libretto after Fernando Pessoa, adapted by Michel van der Aa (E,G,Pt)
188.8.131.52-0.1.0.0-perc(1):vib/glsp/3metal pieces/cabasa/maracas/egg shaker/4Chin.tom-t/BD/bamboo chimes/ratchet/whip(med)/wdbl(lo)/2log dr/tgl(hi)/2susp.cym-4vln.3vla.2vlc.db-soundtrack(laptop,1player)-film(2screens)
This work is available from Boosey & Hawkes for the world.
Michel van der Aa, director
Conductor: Dennis Russell Davies
Company: Klaus Maria Brandauer, actor / Bruckner Orchester Linz
The Book of Disquiet is a collection of fragmentary texts, diary entries and autobiographical anecdotes only published fifty years after the death of Fernando Pessoa. It was assembled from loose sheets of paper, found in a box trunk on his death. Michel van der Aa narrowed down the texts through a process of selection in order to create a piece that could exist in ‘real’ time in the theatre. A series of recurring themes group the fragments by subject matter, for instance isolation, love or dreams.
There are realistic scenes with the alter-egos of Bernardo Soares but also scenes that are much more abstract, drawing upon entries found in the book to create a more dreamlike mise-en-scène. So the video switches between imagery that literally extends the physical events on stage, and more surreal scenes that make us delve deeper into the mind of the protagonist.