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The Secret of Life
A towering construction of bows and breathtaking sound graces the stage in this new piece from Berlin-based performance group. The eponymous instrument becomes an acrobatic prop; music and artistry coalesce into a dream-like world where aesthetics and harmony reign.
The musician steps onto the stage dressed in a fantastical ensemble straight from the pages of a fairy tale. As she begins to coax delicate sounds from her viola with a miniature bow, her Acrobat partner appears beside her as if conjured, like a sylvan spirit awakened to life by her magical sounds. He takes the small bow from her hand and hands her a larger one, followed by an even larger one. With utmost concentration and care, he stacks her discarded bows, balancing them effortlessly on top of each other. She continues her beguiling game. The music becomes more intense as she captures her sounds with the help of a loop station and combines the melodies in myriad ways. Just as new musical strains arise, overlap and gradually grow to form a graceful sound sculpture, artist Nebrat constructs an array of increasingly larger bows piece by piece into a stunning example of sculptural balance. The impressive towering construction of sound and bows grows in harmonious accord. In total, the structure is composed of twelve viola bows – the smallest measuring 40 centimeters, the largest two and a half meters. At the end of the piece, the tower balances autonomously over the viola like the wings of a bird. Man and woman clasp hands, fusing the strength of balance with the fragility of the melody. It’s a symbolic representation of love: magical, and yet at the same time, so very fragile.
This piece embodies the interplay of Yin and Yang, of masculine and feminine strengths, of rhythm and melody, of heaven and earth. These principles aren’t just the foundation for love and the origin of life, but also form the basis of music. The number twelve is significant as well, as it governs our organization of time: A solar year contains twelve lunar cycles, a day is composed of two cycles of twelve hours. The same goes for music, which is composed of twelve tones. In this way, the “Melody of Balance” is a metaphor for love, life and music.

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