Eva Van Daele: The Absence of Traditional Characters in Philippe Manoury’s Thinkspiel „Kein Licht“ (2011/2012/2017)

(für den Nachwuchsworkshop 2018)

In 2017, Philippe Manoury joined the list of composers who have worked with the writings of Elfriede Jelinek. Philippe Manoury worked with director Nicolas Stemann, known for his open creation process, to create a new genre of music theatre called Thinkspiel, characterised by the „gemeinsames Wirken der Experimentalforschung, des abstrakten Denkens und der „Sprache“ der Kunst“ (Manoury 2017).
Informed by Bärbel Lücke’s discussion of „Wer spricht?“ in Jelinek’s theatre text Kein Licht (2012) and Stefan Drees’s analysis of how composer Olga Neuwirth treats Jelinek’s text and speech (2013), this paper examines how Manoury and Stemann in their Thinkspiel Kein Licht (2011/2012/2017) handle the lack of characters in the texts of Elfriede Jelinek. The allocation of text to the voices and the bodies on the stage and the tension between hearing and not hearing the other voices on the stage is the focus of my musicological analysis of the auditive network that consists of multilingual speech and song, non- textual human and non-human vocal expressions and acoustic and electronic sounds. I will demonstrate that the absence of clearly defined characters does not impede meaningful relationships between the voices and the bodies on the stage and that the resulting hybrid fabric of voices and ideas might be an essential feature of this new genre of Thinkspiel.


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