(2001) 14’30’’ (CD-version) / 27’ (live-version)
virtual orchestra (CD) / sculptures (Subcontra, Moon) and CD (live)
text: Andrew Hughes

recorded on CD: by Noneuclid
first performance: Quantum Ether, Rotterdam Dance Academy, dec. 2001
performed since: by Quantum Ether in Germany, Bosnia and the Netherlands (a.o. Madrettor Festival, Sint-Laurenskerk, Rotterdam)

“Impressive and subtly frightening (...) Maier’s compositions are sensational (...) his access to music makes him able to let essentially different, seemingly uncombinable genres merge into a new and completely unusual acoustic space. (...) an extremely exciting, very entertaining and never boring alchemical brew .(...) Exorbitant.”

- Wochenblatt LA Xtra, 16.10.2002

“A creepy and beautiful shadow world (...) The lavish production, characterized by ‘Gothic’-trends, with Victorian costumes, scuptural instruments and a soundtrack of furious acoustic thunderstorms and fragile fragments was at the end too short to be true (...) a mixture of ethereal dance theater and experimental sound installation”

- Landshuter Zeitung, 15.10.2002

Transcarnation is the story of a girl whose body is drawn into a shadow world by a disembodied wandering entity. As they unite, she finds herself in a half-material "garden" filled with souls whose bodies have shared the same fate. She realizes that all of them are trapped in an endless cycle of birth, possession by life itself, and the waiting of the flesh to be brought back to life. In an attempt to resist this unending universal process, she reveals the vision of a beyond, a place that promises peace and redemption from the never-ending pain of creation and destruction.

Transcarnation was created and produced by quantum ether in the fall of 2001, and has been performed nine times in renowned locations in Holland and Germany such as Theater Lantaren / Venster (Rotterdam) and Kikker (Utrecht), as well as in the Cathedral of Rotterdam in the MadreTTor-multimedia festival october 2002. Also in october 2002, quantum ether presented Transcarnation along with the new creations Shadow Time and Quantum Ether Unplugged in their first full evening shows in Landshut / Germany.

Transcarnation is a composition made up from diverse independent productions. A fashion show, a modern choreography, a new kind of orchestra, unique instruments, an innovative composition and modern fragmentary lyrics merge into a collective concept.
The artists decided to collaborate as a group for a new kind of border-crossing art projects. The core of the concept is that the different disciplines influence each other. A consequence of this concept is, for example, that the sculptures interact with the choreography, the set and the music. The sculptures are conceived in a way that they are used as independent musical instruments. On these electric string instruments parts of the piece are played live; the musician participates in the choreography while playing.

The music of Transcarnation was created in many steps. Instruments which are unusual in classical music such as panflutes, electric guitars, sitars and ouds become part of an orchestral texture, combined with electronic and electronically manipulated sounds. This "orchestra" would be impossible to realize live; the piece was created using multitrack recording. All musicians involved are great virtuosos on their instruments, a fact which I used to cover a stylistic spectrum from baroque music, world music and contemporary classical music to experimental rock music, jazz, electronics and death metal. This stylistic spectrum can also be found in the costumes, which are using baroque esthetics as well as modern abstraction. In the choreography, dancers, models and musicians melt despite their different styles into a new common language of movement in which every movement drives the plot forward in its own way. In the text the fragmented syntax of nonlinear poetry carries the echo of another, preternatural, world. The symbolism in the script is reflected as well in the light design.

For me, this piece was a breakthrough on several levels. It was the first time since my teens that I used "real" metal with guitars, drums and everything again. I guess I had to be done at the conservatory before I could do that and keep a straight face. It also got me into serious style amalgamation, and all work I do with the Hungry Gods is a direct consequence of this music. It was also my first collaboration with all these other disciplines, something that has stayed with me ever since.

Transcarnation was produced for Theater Lantaren / Venster, Rotterdam, with financial support by the Rotterdam Arts Council.

listen: Transcarnation Clip!
watch: 1/3 (intro) 2/3 3/3
listen on myspace

FMM Transcarnation pre