Longing for the faraway. Stories of the life of a stay-at-home.
In 1822 Franz Schubert wrote his „Wandererphantasie“ (D 760). It uses the Song „Der Wanderer“ in which it says: „Da, wo Du nicht bist, ist das Glück“ („Happiness is, where you are not“). This longing for the faraway is one of the central motivs of romantic thinking and feeling. Today more than ever it has two dimensions: a desire to travel to exotic places trying to escape from a dull life; and a desparate searching for one’s own place in a complex world and to find an answer to the existential question of identity and self-awareness. Since the romantic days, by psychoanalysis and neurosciences the self has been thoroughly deconstructed. In a world, in which the unknown „outside“ is vanishing, the really unknown and strange is within ourselves. So „Longing for the faraway“ is an expedition into the self and the inner world. It starts off by picking up adventure travel tours and ends up with the most „fantastic voyage“: the journey into one’s own body as it happens in the science-fiction classic „The fantastic Voyage“ by Richard Fleischer (1966), where a space ship is miniaturized and injected into the body of a czech agent.
The stage setting of the piece represents a recording studio that at the same time takes up elements of the laboratory of the film setting of “Fantastic Voyage”. There are different recording sessions running: the radioplay “Stubenhocker” (“The stay-at-home”) by Herman Bohlen, a pianist records “Wandererphantasie” and at some point a mysterious Japanese singer drops into the studio presenting strange songs: The “Apparitions” from George Crumb. Gradually the line between the people at the studio and the characters they represent in the radio-play they are recording gets blurred and all of a sudden they find themselves in an ultimate travel to explore the secret of the soul.
The composer Michael Emanuel Bauer bases his own compositions on the three central pieces: “Wandererphantasie” “Apparitions” and parts of the film music of “The fantastic Voyage”. The score is a mixture of improvisation instructions and fixed pieces. It includes everyday sounds as typical for radio plays and works with live electronics (Ableton live and MAX for live).
The piece uses different systems of loudspeakers (e.g. a front system and a system of about 30 small speakers above the heads of the audience) to create different acoustic spaces and to work with separating the voices from the bodies.