In 2012, Meta Theater created a much praised piece of music theatre after Oliver Sacks' best-seller „Musicophilia“ which assembles Sacks' exciting, precise observations on the nature of the human response to music. Sacks touches on the creating or listening to music, deals with the categories of harmony, the area that exists between sound and music, and of course the processes in the brain that involve the other senses.
Our project „Musicophilia“ is based on nine selected case studies of this book. We present people falling out of their „normality“ due to neurological diseases. Their perceptions, captured so vividly by Sacks, are the starting point for our artistic journey combining music, video, light and theatre to guide the audience through a series of breath-taking experiences concerning „music and the brain“ (which is the book's subtitle). There is for instance a composer who through an accident loses her capacity for polyphonic hearing. From then on, she perceives the four voices of a string quartet as four sharp laser beams. Or the student manically translating whole lectures into songs because her brain memorizes the spoken word as music. There are patients suffering from Alzheimer's and dementia who learn to master their everyday lives with the help of music.
There are four performers on stage - two musicians, a singer and an actor – moving in and out of these studies, translating these phenomena into poetic images, into sounds, music and theatrical action. Thus the audience can experience what it means when the senses run riot. What is normal? When does strangeness turn pathological? Steffen Wick and Simon Detel have composed the music, using unusual instruments such as a toothbrush. Stefano di Buduo has created hypnotic video sequences. The audience is invited to meet real or at least realistic, yet strange characters. There is Sacks himself and several of his patients, impersonated by the two musicians and the singer /actress. Advanced neurological knowledge is presented through unexpected perspectives, colours, movements and sounds, making it an entertaining, satisfying and aesthetically pleasing evening, which provides food for thought long after the lights have come back on. „They have found long lasting images.“ (SZ)