Fuga Perpetua by Yuval Avital

icon-sonic work for an ensemble, visuals, mobile sound theater and a vocal crowd

Performing: Meitar Ensemble

Teatro Comunale “L. Pavarotti” Modena, Italy 12 March 2016

UK premieres will be published shortly

Fuga Perpetua - musical terms meaning ‘always running’ – is a total artwork, combining virtuosic music for ensemble, a dynamic surround-sound installation in constant motion, video projections and a ‘vocal crowd’.  The leading storytellers of the work are refugees in Kenya, Israel, Italy and the UK, narrating beyond words, through our senses of hearing and sight, intuition and imagination. 

The more we read and hear about refugees, it seems we understand and relate to their experience less. They become representations of something other-than-us, reduced to a familiar script of our worst fears. Responding to one of the greatest dramas of our time, Yuval Avital and Meitar Ensemble smuggle us across the border between our concepts of ‘us’ and ‘them’. 

‘Home’ is the root of our identity, our magnetic north, our fixed point from which we orient our story, a sanctuary of protection and intimacy. Without a home, we become vulnerable, unstable, disoriented, lost. Our experience of music is also defined around ideas of home, of stability and rest, but also of movement, change and transformation. In Fuga Perpetua, a rest in one artistic layer drives movement in another, in counterpoint, interweaving constantly. 

The ‘storytellers’ in Fuga Perpetua are refugees, appearing in the work through projected ‘interviews’ conducted by Avital and collaborators, where individual refugees were asked to relive before the camera significant moments and memories of their lives, both silently and in voice, following a process designed for this project by Avital with the guidance of Prof. Gerald Cupchik (University of Toronto), a specialist in emotions and aesthetic experience. 


Fuga Perpetua by Yuval Avital:

Performed by Ensemble Meitar
Amit Dolberg - Piano, artistic direction, Yoni Gotlibovitch - Cello, Moshe Aharonov - Viola, Gilad Harel - Bass clarinet, Hagar Shahal - Flutes.
Sound direction and ‘Mobile Sound Theater’ developer - Tychonas Michalidis
Video post production and light - Michele Innocente

Scientific advisor - Gerald C. Cupchik, University of Toronto
Additional filming in Kenya - Andrea Trivero
Coordination filming in Kenya - Qaabata Boru
Additional filming in Israel - Yoel Culiner (refugees interviews) and Yoav Ruda (Hasimta Athletics runners)
Coordination of interviewsin Israel - Ensemble Meitar
Additional video and audio contributes by UNHCR

Production: Magà Global Arts (Italy), Third Ear - Ed McKeon (UK)