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Damjan Rakonjac

Louis Andriessen’s Theatre of the World

Louis Andriessen’s Theatre of the World

Review by Damjan Rakonjac

. . . The action feels kaleidoscopic rather than cumulative, dispersed over geographical distances rather than plotted out in time. In fact, the overarching idea—the plot’s “problem”—is that Kircher is indeed running out of time. As he closes in on death, he is forced to meditate on the work’s major theme: the complicity of knowledge in structures of power (just when you thought it was safe to stop reading Foucault). Knowledge is no mere means to power for Kircher, however, but rather an object of obsessive desire in itself. It is the purity of his desire that ultimately saves him, though it is far from disinterested. Part of The Boy’s dramatic purpose seems to be to embody Kircher’s desire, a power which is wielded malevolently and is dispersed throughout many bodies on stage; even the Pope gets a hand-job. . . .

Laurence Crane's <br><i>Drones, Scales and Objects</i>

Laurence Crane's
Drones, Scales and Objects

Review by Damjan Rakonjac

In the end, Crane’s detached attitude towards naming is also directed towards his own music. I did not invoke the notion of distance lightly: by flaunting the arbitrariness of his titles, Crane is distancing himself from his own works, and doing so by using a veil of words behind which he can comfortably lay aside traditional notions of musical expressivity. Yet these notions will not be so easily laid aside, and herein lies one of the most productive tensions inherent in Crane’s work.