-cycling. one day when we first went walking we heard the sound of a drill and a bag was blowing along the ground

for voice and things

January 1990

Words by Christian Kesten, Kim Kutner, Lao-tzu and Peace Memorial Museum Hiroshima

WP HdK (UdK) Berlin West Tower Attic 1990; further performances: Ateliers im Alten Schlachthof Sigmaringen (Symposion "Music and Visual Art") 1990; Festival "moments musicaux" Aarau/Switzerland 2000; Alte Feuerwache Berlin-Friedrichshain 2001; Diapason Sound Art Gallery New York 2007; Villa Aurora Los Angeles 2007.

-cycling. is a work which Kesten has written for himself, which is rather autobiographical and reflects his journey through Japan in 1988. Nevertheless he wrote a score which enables every other performer to interpret the piece, in an individual way, on the background of an individual journey. In April 2008, Antje Vowinckel was the first performer besides Kesten who realized the score. Vowinckel's version is based on her three month stay in Los Angeles.

"We put thirty spokes together and call it a wheel/ But it is on the space where there is nothing/ that the usefulness of the wheel depends." (Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching)
The sound of a plastic bag together with the sound of a paper bag – put into silence. First of all this piece is music – the instruments are bags, later photos and the speaking voice.
First hidden in pockets, daypack and a suitcase, the bags appear one by another, as a slow process during the piece. The bags are placed into the empty space and form an image, an everchanging object. With each new bag the constellation changes.
From time to time, the voice speaks. True stories, from a journey through Japan. (In English.) Then a bunch of photos come out of the daypack, and the performer circles around the field of bags, tracing his path by letting fall down the photos one by one. With each photo, he utters a simple „yes“. More than 200 photos, more than 200 times „yes“. The „yes“ is changing in a slow modulation to the German „jetzt [yetst]“ („now“) and back to „yes“. After this slow, ritual-like circling, the piece ends with emptying the suitcase full of bags, repeating all stories in a compact version again. Only now there is a significant change in each story.

Duration: about 35 min.