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Sheet Music: Score

Beyonsense : vocal theatre in 3 acts for 1-4 performers / Caroline Wilkins ; libretto by Victor Khlebnikov and Alexei Kruchonykh.

by Caroline Wilkins, Victor Khlebnikov and Alexei Kruchonykh (2015)

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  • Library Availability: 782.14/WIL 3 — Available for loan
  • Instrumentation: 4 contrasting performer-voices (preferably 2 male, 2 female) ie. SATB, gramophone horn, quadrophonic playback, CD player or laptop, Sound mixing desk, Lighting, Overhead Pulley to lower cable, performance score-scrolls (provided by composer), black box stage with access to auditorium (ie. same level), low small table covered in black cloth, cushion behind table, upright piano (optional), ratchet (small, hand-held), bubble-blower, 4 commedia masks, 4 music stands. pre-recorded materials (provided by composer). costumes / make-up in Russian Futurist style.
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A playful vocal theatre piece complete with gramophone horn. A compère appears amidst the public, addressing them through a 'megaphone', and introduces the arrival of three characters from a crazy Cubo-Futurist Opera of 1913, 'Victory over the Sun'. We witness a rapid shift from one - The Bully, The Frightened One, The Aviator - to the next as they take the stage and sing their solos. The songs stem from Russian Cabaret traditions of the time. Act 2 takes its title from the Russian word meaning beyonsense - 'zaum' - and consists of 3 staged, short, nonsensical solos. Act 3 explores a more mystical side to Russian Futurism, invoking sounds and voices that border on the non-human, invoking gods and nature.

The work's title alludes to its largely onomatopoeic source material, operating between the borders of sound and meaning.

Published by: Australian Music Centre — 1 facsimile score (38p. -- A4 (landscape))

Difficulty: Advanced — Sprechstimme, non-semantic texts, both movement and voice required from performer

Duration: 55 mins

Contents note:

In 3 acts.

First performance by Caroline Wilkins — 7 Aug 14. Tete-a-Tete Opera Festival, King's Place, London

Includes performance notes and libretto.

Libretto by Victor Khlebnikov and Alexei Kruchonykh.

Sound Theatre engaging voice, pre-recorded sound, choreography, lighting and staging.

The composer notes the following styles, genres, influences, etc associated with this work:
her own works: 'Zaum: Beyond Mind' (2012), and 'Phonurgia' (2010), and Russian Futurist style of early 1900s. Precursor to Dada performance and poetry. Wordplay, onomatopoeia, cabaret, Surrealism. Performance poets such as Jaap Blonk, Valeri Scherstanjoi. Australian Composer/Performer/Linguist Zachar Laskewicz (see AMC artists).

Can be performed by less than 4 people by doubling roles. Each Act can be performed separately.

This is a handwritten edition — it is not typeset.

ISMN: 979-0-720158-62-4

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Analysis & Media

- Resonate Article: Insight: Composing performance - Beyonsense

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