showcasing relevant parts of the ideas for
We are the Music (2021)
Mathias Madsen Munch and Lasse D. Hansen
Nordic Music Days 2021 · Reykjavík · Idea submission
Tuning, Applause (2016)
Tuning, Applause—a kind of symphonic narrative—starts almost unnoticed with the music growing out of the orchestra’s tuning procedure, but interrupted when an audience member claps too soon, midway through the work. Conductor Baldur Brönnimann asks the musicians to start over, but from here, something is changed. The orchestra is now out of tuning and the conductor turns impatiently towards the audience, conducting their applause in the same movements as the orchestra.
To get the audience involved in the game, we placed 50 extras—such as theatre directors in the 19th century France bought to applaud at the right moments: claqueurs—among the rest of the uninitiated audience, who, to our pleasure, all joined the clapping.
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»The avant-garde after the Second World War did what it could to distance itself from everything that was called key and tradition, melody and other things that could be abused, such as the fascists abused among others Beethoven’s music.
Today, the avant-garde is a completely different place. A new generation of young and younger Danish composers use the brain and humour in addition to interactivity, new technology and everything they have learned about the old masters, to twist the tradition so that new experiences arise. Experiences that everyone—including the many invited teenagers who were present at the party concert in the Symphonic Hall on Friday night—can get something out of.«
—Thomas Michelsen, Politiken
»[The arrangers] have done a strong job curating—the surprises were in line. If classical concerts had just 20% of this playful unpretentiousness, they would be so much more fun to attend, and the love relationship between the new music and the audience so much easier to deal with.«
—Andreo Michaelo Mielczarek, Århus Stiftstidende
»Obviously, there was first the premiere of Lasse D. Hansen’s “Tuning, Applause”. Here it sounded as if the orchestra was tuning until it dawned on one that the concert was already going on. In an amazing way, an echo of the typical tuning sounds went through the instrument groups, and in the end, Brönnimann magically included the audience’s applause.«
—Rachel Einarsson, Jyllands-Posten
»Lasse D. Hansen (...) unfolded the atmosphere of the orchestra musicians’ tuning their instruments before the concert and what he calls “the uncontrolled, cascading symphonic sea that hides in it”. His work, “Tuning, Applause”, ended with a rather inciting applause, where the conductor, the young Swiss Baldur Brönnimann, conducted the audience’s applause dynamically varied around the hall. Just repeat Lasse D. Hansen’s concert prelude on other, also more traditional occasions. The audience is actively awakened.«
—John Christiansen, jcKlassisk
ClockWork is constructed as a musical clock in macro scale.
The audience experiences the clockwork in their own tempo, as they move along the tower. No person will ever experience the same music since the musical clockwork is in constant flux.
Twelve speakers surround Krudttårnet in Frederikshavn in a perfect circle of 60 meters circumference. The speakers each represent one of the twelve steps of the clock. All 12 pieces of music are grounded in the same tempo—but the time signatures constantly change from 1/8 up to 12/8.
Inside the macro clock, harmony is a determining factor. ClockWork is an exploration of the 12 root notes of Western music; the circle of fifths.
Before the installation opens around the tower, the audience will experience the winding of the clock together with violinist Jens Elfving. All steps of the clockwork will be presented during the exactly 12-minute introduction.
Aſter the musical winding, the clock around the tower is open for 48 min.
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Face the Music (2016)
Face the Music was announced as a lecture in a series of five so-called PechaKucha Nights—a worldwide concept where a number of creative participants present their work, ideas and visions in 20 images, displayed in exactly 20 seconds; a total presentation time of 6 minutes and 40 seconds each—and therefore the audience did not know in advance what to expect.
An actor played the role of speaker, four musicians accompanied his presentation, a video animator made a fantastic ’living‘ slide show and in addition, we had a mechanical metronome, extended lighting and a 5 channel sound design on stage.
The work thus starts as a lecture, but gradually transforms into a kaleidoscopic theatrical fantasy as the speaker—literally, dramatically—disappears into his musical memories. It evolves into a short story where he has to try to find his way back, travelling by the memories the music recalls.
Other roles were prerecorded voiced/sung by actors, so only the voices, their ’sound’, were with him on stage. The interesting thing was to write a story that takes place within the music and where the music plays a leading role in line with the actor, as we intend to do with We are the Music, where music, visuals, choreographic surprises and dancing are all equal in the performance.
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»One of the most unexpected works on the program was Lasse D. Hansen’s Face the Music (2016), an experimental theater piece that journeys through the psyche of a composer (wonderfully played by actor Matthew Lieff Christian) lecturing on the topic of how people perceive music. Over the course of the piece, Christian’s character journeys from the lecture hall through chaotic realms of the conscious and sub-conscious, the formal facade of the professor-expert rapidly dissolving into a mess of inner turmoil. While the self-abasing inner-dialogue of the neurotic male artist/academic is as well-used as the expression “face the music” itself, Hansen embraces kitsch and cliché with a sense of humor. There were many enjoyable moments that highlighted absurdity of academia—“Music can keep you in the same place or take you to a different place”—or the humor of the inner psyche—at one point the main character is hypnotized by a disembodied female voice he calls “mother.”«
—Clare Monfredo, I care if you listen (.com)
reviewing the performance at the 2018 MATA Festival, New York
»The #Pechakucha format took off for @autdk tonight. A dry musicology lecture became a passionate music performance. Message: Music is indescribable in 20x20.«
—Audience on Instagram at the 2017 Svendborg premiere
Circus & Symphony – a collaboration between Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and six circus artists. Co-directed by Sunniva Byvard and David Chocron and produced by Oslo Nysirkus, the piece set stories to classical music.
The Finale from the world premiere of the musical theatre production I Love It (2017).
Music and lyrics by Mathias Madsen Munch.
Premiered by Aalborg Symphony Orchestra.
The audience inside the theatrical virtual reality production Mæt af dage (Full of years, 2018).
Premiered at Teatret Svalegangen and conceptualized and directed by Anna Schulin-Zeuthen.
World premiere of Lasse D. Hansen’s Tuning, Applaus (2016)
Performed by Aarhus Symfoniorkester and conductor Baldur Brönnimann at the 50th anniversary of AUT: Aarhus Unge Tonekunstnere. Joined by over 50 claqueurs (applauding extras hidden in the audience) and with obbligato concert audience.
Íslenska Óperan’s production of Humberdinck’s Hänsel und Gretel (2018)
Lighting design by Jóhann Friðrik Ágústsson