Architecture and electronic compositions merge into an organic synthesis, combining light, image, rhythm and sound.
In 2001, Thomas Stammer and Michael Wertmüller met at Villa Aurora in Los Angeles and began to exchange ideas about sound and space. Asking questions like how can we create a spatial representation of sound through a 3-D notation system? or how can we incorporate visual content while composing and simultaneously allowing a momentary interpretation by conductor or musician? This is how the project D.I.E. ORPHEUSMACHINE found its roots. For the opera D I E, which premiered at the 2021 Ruhrtriennale, Stammer revisited the idea and developed it further. His main source of inspiration was the Philips Pavilion, an important and solitary architectural project built for the 1958 Expo in Brussels, where Le Corbusier collaborated with Iannis Xenakis in an attempt to merge architecture and music into a common form.
Wertmüller, however, was inspired by the book D•I•E – abstract reality, and used the 13 abstract charcoal drawings by Albert Oehlen and the 14 poems by Rainald Goetz like a game of word-image ping-pong. With Oehlen’s drawings serving as a point of origin, Wertmüller created a fantastic polymetric, which is transferred to the performers, ensemble members and conductor. Melodic timbre is distilled from Goetz‘s poetry in sequences and layers, all than interacting with Oehlen‘s visuals.
A Holographic Music Visualization
Subsequently, Stammer developed 3-D sculptures, with movements and transformations flowing directly from Wertmüller‘s score and are thus being connected to the music.
Daniel Dalfovo coded the lines and figures, and animated the sculptures as partial elements. This creative coding allows for interaction and transformations. The choreography of the holographs is linked to the score and reacts dynamically to impulses from the conductor or director. The performance’s visual scenery takes on a temporality, interlocked with the staging of music, text and bodies.