The stage looks like an engine room. The concert starts not with the tuning up but with the oiling of the instruments. Metal, smoke and vibrations are the main components in "Jemand auf der Treppe ?".
The installation recalls Mauricio Kagel's "Zweimannorchester", except that Kagel, the composer, did not use electricity, compressed air or explosives. Zegveld and van der Poll do not use computers or other advanced gadgets. All of the pieces of equipment are elementary constructions and look hand-made. For example, there is a horn organ, a set of oil drums which let off steam and sound, a pan full of glass marbles resting on a horizontal speaker cone.
Van der Poll is the musical member of the duo, in action on woodwind, keyboard and strings. Zegveld is the engineer who presses buttons, turns handles and makes the machines moan and rustle mysteriously by remote control. All the same, his role in a few tear-jerker duets, unpolished but in key, reveals the presence of a more sensitive feeling for music as well.
The two performers have confronted themselves with the question of where the dividing line lies between a theatre performance and a concert. There is not really much point in asking the question, since every concert is a theatre performance. In the case of " Jemand auf der Treppe" it is rather a question of the balance between what you hear and what you see. The musical element is deafening at times, certainly a little rudimenfary but the excitement is kept up by the, at times elusive, connections between cause and effect, the contrasts between machines you see and the human activities you hear.
Suitable for children over 10 years of age
Avec : Peter Zegveld & Thijs von der Poll
An Orkator Production Supported by the Theafer lnsfifuut Nederland, International Department.