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Sydney Boyd

Being Human: Beauty and Terror in Hans Tutschku’s <i>nighttime songs from afar</i>

Being Human: Beauty and Terror in Hans Tutschku’s nighttime songs from afar

A feature by Sydney Boyd

To achieve this kind of intermedia voyage, it matters where you sit during Tutschku’s concerts. When I first walked into the theater and sat in the front row, Tutschku quietly approached and encouraged me toward the center of the room, gesturing at the circular positioning of the speakers. His advice quickly made sense: his music is remarkably attuned to its environments. It moves with space and bodies in mind, as his 2011 work Klaviersammlung, which opened this first program, succinctly demonstrated. Comprising recordings Tutschku made of ancient pianos that whir around an audience through sixteen channels placed throughout the theater, the piece transports you inside the body of an old instrument where you feel the hammers press and the strings pull, and the grain of the wood scratches along your cheek.