DUB LEVIATHAN! (2015)
A Scenic album - with three records* by Tore Vagn Lid
Premiere at Bergen International Festival 2015
Transiteateret-Bergen’s DUB Leviathan! is conceived, produced and composed as a “scenic album”. Just as three old vinyl records can be accommodated in one box with a single title, the scenic album DUB Leviathan! consists of three records, composed with its own tracks and performers.
DUB as musical genre and working method grew out of the political tumults in Jamaica in the late 1960s and early seventies. The ‘formula’ consisted of replacing the soloist with the mixing console, giving the principal part to the electric bass and percussion -accompaniment and then waving the magic wand to make the foreground the background and vice versa.
It may be said of DUB music that the extremely deep, sensual bass rhythm is aimed well below the belt - at the libido, while the equally shrill treble notes aim for the top of the head and ‘ the logical thought’. The contrast is inviting and challenging – not only as sound. When bass and treble are distilled in their extremities, a void is created in between. As a musical form DUB is thus in principle democratic and welcoming, not only in style and material but also in the decision as to which voices fill the void. Stretched out in time, in a stripped-down and repetitive musical pattern, it also requires the active involvement and co-creation of the listener.
The question remains: is it possible to conceive DUB as something more than a specific musical genre associated with Jamaica and the 1970s? Is it possible to conceive DUB as a more open invitation, an invitation to musical theatre in general?
With DUB Leviathan! we are attempting exactly that strategy: to transfer the musical concepts and work forms of the DUB genre to the stage. At the same time we challenge DUB music to receive theatrical devices into an extended mixture of space, video, sound, movement, action and (radio)-theatre. A metabolism, in other words. An attempt to create a new genre – «a scenic DUB». The result is a scenic music-studio, with Transiteatret-Bergen as a band of various performers.
Contingency theatre - preparing for the future
The theatre often finds material in the past. Conflicts and dramas that have already taken place. I have been fascinated for a long time by the thought of theatre as a “dress rehearsal” for reality – for what is going to happen! In the course of the three records that comprise the DUB Leviathan album – AGAINST, THE WAR OF ALL and ALL, it is mainly the future that is at stake. Does it make sense to talk about a kind of contingency theatre? In all events this is an attempt to imagine a future, whether it is sudden state of emergency (AGAINST), the dystopian battle zone (THE WAR OF ALL) or possible traces of Utopia (ALL).
*Each record can be experienced separately or in any chosen order.