At its core, every city is an invisible network of relationships between the people who live in it – a web of transactions, conversations, encounters, and clashes. In a haunting live symphony, CIRCLES brings together choirs and individual singers from all parts of Stuttgart in a multidimensional production: an audiovisual ritual of musical-choreography, visual art, and live video projection from a bird’s eye view, composed to create a chaotic-eruptive and colorful artistic expression of human relationships and celebrate their complexity. CIRCLES is a large-scale composition of voice, movement, and color, illuminating the power of collective intelligence.
Every city has its rhythm to daily routines. Each city forms a structure of transactions, conversations and encounters. Every city has a structure of sounds, smells, emotions and colours. The choral symphony CIRCLES translates this complex pattern into a large-scale choral performance for hundreds of participants, choirs and individuals. Composer Amir Shpilman, director Marie Bues, dancer Ariel Cohen, artists Yair Kira and Naoto Hieda and cultural manager Kerstin Wiehe develop together with up to 200 singers a ritual, a chaotic-eruptive celebration of the complex city and the people in it.
CIRCLES means above all music. The structure of this new choral music is so simple that it can be rehearsed in guided workshops with about 200 singers. The influence of the sound through the immediate proximity to the musicians will irritate the audience during the performances, as well as question their orientation in space and their role during the choral ritual.
CIRCLES is interdisciplinary and experimental, but above all, CIRCLES is a remarkable reinterpretation of the idea of space-sound and the idea of music as a community-building, but possibly also a beautifully disturbing ritual. Amir Shpilman, who as a composer and conductor is interested in the physicality of music, has around 200 singers perform together. A bird’s eye view camera transfers the changes in the concentric circle of the performers onto a building.
Amir Shpilman’s vision is to emphasize the power of collective intelligence through a large-scale composition in which voice, colour, and movement are in continuous change, and are influencing one another. Based on principles of self-organized systems and interactions between individuals, a mass swarm of rich colours and sounds, will emerge and swirl in and around the audience. CIRCLES will be fulfilled when the audience who is walking inside this swarm and being exposed to this extremely intense experience, will ask themselves: “Am I a spectator or part of the performance?”
World Premiere on October, 3rd 2022.
Amir Shpilman: idea, concept and composition; Marie Bues: dramaturgical advice; Ariel Cohen: choreography; Yair Kira: design; Robert Löw: scientific accompaniment; Naoto Hieda: simulator & media instruments; Kerstin Wiehe: Platform, marketing and artistic consulting; Christoph Amann: virtual instrument programming; Timo Kleinmeier: sound engineer.
Susanne Leitz-Lorey, soprano; Truike van der Poel, mezzo-soprano; Martin Nagy, tenor; Guillermo Anzorena, baritone, Neue Vocalsolisten
Special thanks to Christine Fischer, Jakob Berger, Annika Knapp, Annette Eckerle (Musik der Jahrhunderte); Marie Bues, Martina Grohmann, Timo Kleinemeier, Max Kirks, Siri Thiermann (Theater Rampe); Festival DIE IRRITIERTE STADT, Amann Studios Wien, Akademie der Künste Electronic Studio Berlin (Gregorio Karman, Andrei Cucu, Tancredi Cottafadi), Human Factors-Programm of TU Berlin, singers Mima Millo, Cosima Steiner, Katharina Wegscheider, Alice Lackner, Katharina Heiligtag, Anna Warzinek, Goran Cah, Vernon Kirk, Daniel Castoral, Nicolas Boulanger, Eyal Edelmann, Jakob Berger, Sirje Viise, Shiran Eliaserov und Valentin Schmehl, whose voices are the basis of our virtual instrument.
Subject to change without notice.
DIE IRRITIERTE STADT is a project of Akademie Schloss Solitude, Freie Tanz und Theaterszene Stuttgart, Musik der Jahrhunderte, Produktionszentrum Tanz und Performance, Theater Rampe and the Kulturamt der Landeshauptstadt Stuttgart in the context of TANZPAKT Stuttgart. Supported by TANZPAKT Stadt-Land-Bund with funds from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media and the special program NEUSTART KULTUR and the City of Stuttgart.
CIRCLES online platform – coming soon
Members of different choirs will be able to connect online and get acquainted via the CIRCLES online platform which will prepare them for their outdoor performance!
The platform includes interactive individual and group exercises and instructions for self-study and physical practice of the composition already from home.
The exercises will come in the forms of playful challenges for the participants to overcome together with their colleagues and includes all three elements of the work; voice, movement, and color. From beginners to advanced, the performance level of participants will improve as they progress through the challenges which step by step gets harder and more complex.
The friendly interface will invite users of the platform to try, test, and create new compositions together with their colleagues based on the CIRCLES system that uses artistic processes to train individuals in collective work.
Sub-groups of participants would be able to produce videos of their creations using basic technology found in any smartphone or computers, post them on the platform, and comment on other’s videos. The platform will help participants inspire each other and build a vibrant community of all CIRCLES performers.
The platform allows singers from around the world to join our performance community, share their ideas, and take part in the project.
This video is an open invitation by Amir Shpilman to singers, choirs and conductors to participate in CIRCLES!
For further details on how to invite us or participate in the project, please send an email to: email@example.com
INSTRUCTIONS for a SOUND-MOVEMENT-COLOUR experiment:
If you would like to experiment with sound and movement as a first preparation for participating in CIRCLES, print out our sound and movement amplifier and build a funnel out of it (Attention: Please cut out the circle).
If you now insert the mobile phone into the funnel with the speakers facing upwards, you can produce the sounds and colours of the app through the circle.
Think up your own little movement choreography and perhaps find a few fellow participants* with whom you can perform the sound and movement exercise together in the CIRCLE. On the one hand you can experience the Doppler effect and on the other hand you can already make your first experiences in passing on sound, movement and colours as preparation for the participation in CIRCLES. Have fun with it 🙂
Our team – Interdisciplinary cooperation as a resource
As a trained conductor, the composer Amir Shpilman is interested in the physicality of music. He often works with theatrical means, dancers, designers, visual artists, poets, authors, and scientists to realize his musical ideas. He has a special interest in chaotic structures and large scale performances. Fascinated by shapes that reflect the inherent musical forms, he strives to translate the relationship between structure and volatility into authentic expression. He has worked with the European Capital of Culture (Wroclaw), Ensemble Intercontemporain (Paris), Maxim Gorki Theater (Berlin), International Contemporary Ensemble (New York), Ensembles Meitar and Nikel (Tel Aviv), Interface (Frankfurt), AuditivVokal (Dresden), Ensemble Mosaik and LUX: NM (Berlin) and Ensembles Reconsil and Platypus (Vienna) among others.
Marie Bues is a director and since October 2013, together with Martina Grohmann, artistic director of Theater Rampe Stuttgart. Since 2008 she has been working as a freelance director at the Theater Basel, Residenztheater Munich, Nationaltheater Mannheim, Staatstheater Karlsruhe and Staatstheater Saarbrücken. At Theater Rampe she focuses on contemporary drama and experimental contemporary theatre practice.
Yair Kira is a visual artist and product designer who is engaged in functional design and conceptual artwork. He received his third academic degree – as product designer – at the UdK Berlin. Due to his extensive experience in dealing with new technologies, he is a highly qualified designer. Kira takes the freedom to explore unexpected and new artistic approaches and uses his diverse knowledge to create interdisciplinary contemporary art. He cooperates with composers, painters, dancers and even doctors. His work has been shown in solo and group exhibitions throughout Europe. He is nominated for the German Design Award 2019.
Ariel Cohen born in Western Massachusetts, USA, has a Bachelor’s degree in English and a Master’s degree in dance. Since 2010 she lives in Berlin and works as a freelance dancer with Tino Sehgal, Micha Purucker, Nir de Volff, the Dance Theater Karine Jost and Joshua Monten, among others. She also teaches Pilates and has various teaching positions in dance, choreography, anatomy and kinesiology. Since 2011 Ariel Cohen has consistently been dancing for backsteinhaus produktion. Here she performed the pieces Absent, a piece of cake, paradies fluten and How to sell a murderhouse.
Naoto Hieda is a Japanese artist. He received a Bachelor of Engineering from Tokyo Institute of Technology (Japan) and a Master of Engineering from McGill University (Canada). His research interest is in algorithmic and procedural expression, which bridges the gap between neurodiversity, digital media and analogue fabrication. His work has been shown at Miraikan (Japan), Works/San Jose (USA), Favoriten Festival (Germany), Never Apart (Canada) and Seoul Art Space Geumcheon (Korea). He was a scholarship holder of the danceWEB program (Austria, mentor Tino Sehgal) and the Pola Art Foundation (Japan). Since 2019 he has been studying at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne.
Kerstin Wiehe founded and directs kultkom – Kulturmanagement & Kommunikation and QuerKlang gUG. As a publicist and cultural manager for experimental cultural formats and cultural education, her work focuses on cultural projects with an interface, genre and cross-border orientation. The initiation of interdisciplinary processes and the associated changes in structures and approaches are also an integral part of her work. Among other things, she researches and works on the topic of experimental interdisciplinary art forms and new forms of learning and teaching in the context of artistic practice. Since 2001 she has accompanied teams and processes as an organisational developer and process facilitator and for change management. She teaches at various universities. Kerstin is a singer herself.
Robert Löw is an experimental physicist and conducts research at the University of Stuttgart into the fundamentals of quantum physics. In addition to his research and teaching activities, Robert Löw has realised several participatory exhibitions on physics topics, set up a laboratory for schoolchildren and carried out various projects in art museums over the last 20 years.