The News Trilogy (Part I and Part II)
by Nicholas Bussmann
Part I – The News Blues
Part II – Major News / Minor News
Nicholas Bussmann approaches news as data stream to be processed by 7 performers of 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. Would this be set in Mexico City in the mid 1980’s and chances would be that a political cartoon by Damián Ortega would appear along the performance. In fact, the news and newspapers have been addressed by Ortega in some of his works. His show at the Barbican in London, in 2010, consisted of a series of works created as a response to the daily news during the previous month leading up to the exhibition opening.
In Bussmann’s “The News Blues”, the part I of the trilogy, a lead singer sings an article in a newspaper in his language. The other performers, whilst some might not understand, mimic what they hear, building up harmonies. Seven harmonies and three instructions form together the algorithm of “The News Blues”. This establishes a continuous change of hierarchy inside the group. It gives everybody a stage to play the others, make them do, conduct, make believe.
A piece of news which is interpreted by one performer is mimicked, harmonized, misunderstood and transformed to the essence of news in modern society: a stream of excitement. The News Trilogy, is a musical and social experiment with the means of algorithmic composition. It works an intricate transformation running at different levels – structural, semantic, processual – in ways that resonate with Ortega’s body of work.
During a section of the presentation of The News Blues, on the second day of performances, the audience is invited to participate, joining the performers,
“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 singing in different Chinese dialects. It was also performed at Fundação de Serralves in Porto, where part II of the Trilogy was premiered.
Nicholas Bussmann is a composer and artist. Trained as a cellist, he has been expanding his practice into various connecting music genres, from electronics to conceptual music, as well as art fields. He is a founder member of Kapital Band 1, Nicholas Desamory, Telebossa and Rydberg. As a curator he promotes music in art context working for the Berlin Documentary Forum and Shanghai Biennale 10
Concept and composition: Nicholas Bussmann
Performers: Eduard Mont de Palol, Laura Mello, Lucile Desamory, Margareth Kammerer, Rico Repotente, Todosch Schlopsnies, Yusuf Ergün.