This performance features Contemporaneous, Artists-in-Residence for the 2017-2018 season.
And Flowers Showered is part of Classical Sundays, a National Sawdust series that presents the cutting-edge of contemporary classical music. Hear renowned artists from the classical tradition perform music both storied and vitally new, combining tradition with modernity in a way that is quintessential Williamsburg. Unplug and unwind as we curate the industry’s most compelling performances.
Contemporaneous, the 21-piece ensemble lauded as “ferocious” by the New York Times, performs And Flowers Showered, an immersive evening-length exploration of the self through music, movement, and visual art. Created by visionary Latvian composer Krists Auznieks and designer Magnus Pind, And Flowers Showered asks us to examine the nature of the voice within the self, while transforming National Sawdust into a vast natural environment. Through words, music, and the transfiguration of physical space, And Flowers Showered allows us to investigate the constituent parts of the indigenous voice — what is the self, and what makes us each an individual?
And Flowers Showered offers a variety of perspectives, from the scientific to the spiritual, to the poetic and even the experiential. Three texts, spanning thousands of years, inform the underlying architecture of the work: from German philosopher and neurobiologist Thomas Metzinger, a koan by 13th century Japanese monk Muju Ichien, and Wallace Stevens.
In Part I, a blindfolded audience sits facing the walls of the space, Auznieks’s rapturous and patient music emerging as a “voice in the back of the mind.”
Part II is a visual awakening. With blindfolds removed, the audience comes to sit around a bonfire, an experience of communal identity. The music offers a struggle between what Auznieks describes as “the nothing that is there” and “the nothing that is not.” A sonic chill encourages the audience to huddle close together.
Part III is an experience of bliss, an acknowledgment of a joyful beauty that has been present all along. Attention and focus moves away from the ground and towards the ceiling, where the audience encounters a vision of the stars.