Fastaval 2015 – Deranged

12 apr

Every year at Fastaval I am blessed with a wow!-experience. This year it was Deranged by Jeppe and Maria Bergmann Hamming and took place Friday morning.

You could almost feel it immediately after the door was opened. We were met by classical music and a wall decorated like music paper. Almost ready to start, but first we needed to make the groups. We started with the international one. So far this Fastaval I had only had one activity out of four in Danish and I often end up in groups with the same people, so I hesitated marking that I would gladly play in English. But when I saw that the only international person, Heather, was someone I didn’t know and the first Dane to mark was Lars, who I hadn’t played with this year, I signaled and shortly after Simon did as well. Then we could observe the others forming a line according to their knowledge of classical music and the groups being divided on this background.

We would probably be part of the half with some knowledge of classical music, although none of us had German romance as our strong side. But I don’t think it really mattered – what mattered was the willingness to feel the music and the story.

The story was that of the composer Robert Schumann or at least how his deranged mind could have remembered it. The characters were Schumann (the old Robert Schumann remembering the story – but also the player with most secondary characters), Robert (the young Robert Schumann), Clara (a pianist and composer – married to Robert) and Felix Mendelsohn/Johannes Brahms (friends of the Schumanns). I got the role as Felix/Johannes. I had expected to mainly be supporting the story of Robert and Clara, but it was not so much a love story of two persons as a love triangle or even a polygon of love, with music as a common mistress to us all.

Music was omnipresent. There was a composition for each scene as well as a melody for cutting. If I said “So stehn wir” we would all chant that, either as a crescendo increasing in intensity or decrescendo decreasing, until out GM Tor would start the tune by Brahms “So stehn wir, ich und meine weile…”. Each player had their own cutting tune: “Ich will meine seele” (Robert), “Sie liebten sich beide” (Clara) and “Die Rose, Die Lilie” (Schumann). These tunes were used for the warm up, where we were saying them in different moods.

The scenes were all hanging on the wall decorated as music paper with four lines and divided into three main sessions. At first we were only allowed to take scenes from the first one. After having played at least one scene from the first session, we could open the second one by taking a scene from there – and after having played a scene from the second one, we could open the third. We could always jump back to the previous sessions and we could play a scene more than once. So we did. E.g. we played Robert and Clara’s first kiss twice.

Anybody could pick a scene while the cutting-tune was playing and it was supposed to be in silence. We did so most of the scenes, but once in a while we shortly discussed the direction – I was one of the big sinners there. But still we created a story that was fragmented and coherent at the same time.

After Fastaval the soundtrack of my fasta-blues this year has been classical – the tunes of the characters, including the short tunes used for cutting (but not “Die Rose, Die Lilie”, which is too hectic for my taste). The scenario and music has stuck with me. So if I’m to recommend one of this year’s scenarios for a rerun, this well-composed scenario would probably be it. I would gladly play it again or be GM.

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