Nicholas Bussmann – The News Trilogy
Part I – The News Blues
Part II – Major News / Minor News (premiere)
The day’s news functions more as an atmospheric constant than a series of relevant signals. It contributes to our feeling of being alive, of being present, but does little to provoke actions or decisions. Nicholas Bussmann approaches news as a data stream to be processed by 7 performers employing various languages, executing a composition, or in other words: an algorithm. The composition is a set of simple instructions to structure the performance on multiple levels, to filter, harmonize or decompose the news and trigger social interaction between the performers.
In “The News Blues”, part I of the trilogy, a lead singer sings an article from a newspaper in their language. The other performers, while not necessarily understanding, mimic what they hear, building up harmonies. Together, seven harmonies and three instructions form the algorithm of “The News Blues”: 1. Turn a page to start. 2. If somebody turns a page, then everybody turns a page of their newspaper, and then somebody starts to lead. 3. If a second singer starts to lead while the other is still singing the first one stops at some point. This establishes a continuous change of hierarchy inside the group. It gives everybody a stage on which to direct the others, conducting them, making them act, dispensing belief.
It is also a process of transformation. A news item interpreted by an individual is mimicked, harmonized, misunderstood and transformed into the essence of news in modern society: a stream of excitement. The News Trilogy, as a musical and social experiment, interferes with the global paradigm of the sufficient truth of statistics and the culture of advantage.
“The News Blues” will be performed at Casa de Serralves along with the premiere of part II “Major News – Minor News”
“The News Blues” was premiered in Berlin in 2014 and performed 42 times at the Shanghai Biennial 2014/15, with the participation of local singers performing in different Chinese dialects.
The Berlin News Blues
Eduard Mont de Palol
The Shanghai News Blues