Hypnos

An operatic dream-world collides with the urban dance scene

Photo by Laurent Muller

For Voice & Electric Trombone

By Laurent Muller, Elise Lorraine & Constantine Koukias

A new music-theatre work in development

Voice – Elise Lorraine
Electric Trombone – Matthias Konrad
Creative Director & Text – Laurent Muller
Music – Constantine Koukias
Technical Design – Ivan Paitre
Lighting Consultant – James Haslam

In this performance a DJ interacts with live voice and electric trombone, dancing between classical mythology and contemporary, day to day living. Hypnos promises to attract a diverse audience, ranging from the followers of contemporary performance art to the urban dance scene.

Hypnos presents a modern take on the myth of the famous god of Sleep.
The story unfolds as a power play between the god and his wife Pasithea, goddess of Night’s Activities.

We see and hear these two powerful characters fighting their way towards some sense of balance, perhaps even equality, in their positions both within their relationship to each other and to mankind as a whole. They contend with the extremes of love and lust, personal ambition and servitude, violence and harmony, and seek commonality in their shared passion for the quixotic dream-world over which they rule.

All with a cheeky twist on the News and other goings-on in our world today.

Created by a unique group of six complementary talents, Laurent Muller (Text & Creative Direction), Elise Lorraine (Voice), Matthias Konrad (Electric Trombone), Anna Lindblad (DJ & Sound Design), Ivan Paitre (Technical Direction) & Constantine Koukias (Music).

Elise Lorraine

Voice

Elise has been a specialist in contemporary vocal music since her student days at the RAM, then at York university, where she co-founded new music ensemble Tactus, singing the music of Berio (Sinfonia, The Folksongs), Dallapicola and Hoyland.

The warmth and clarity of her voice has inspired many composers to write for her over the years. Elise has sung with UK-based new music groups such as Ixion, The Latham-Koenig Ensemble, The Lost Jockey and vocal music-theatre group Vocem, and as a free improvisor with AMM (Irma  by Tom Philips), Phil Minton and Veryan Weston.

In Amsterdam, she formed the trio Zivatar (with flute and cimbalon), and commissioned pieces from composers such as Michael Finnissy, as well as Amsterdam-based composers such as Calliope Tsoupaki, David Dramm, and Jannis Kyriakides.

She performed around the Netherlands and at European festivals with Harry de Wit, co-creating music-theatre pieces such as Blanco, and also with improvising musicians such as Han Benninck and Ab Baars.

Recently re-established in London, Elise is working with a new generation of musicians who cross the borders between new music and improvisation (Guy Harries, Lore Lixenberg).   She runs vocal workshops (Sicilian festivals – Rara and Oooo), and is frequently to be seen singing in London’s many jazz venues.

2018 sees her perform “They’re Playing Our Songs”, created with her brother, composer Ross Lorraine, and back in the Netherlands for a rerun of the 2011 opera “Eise” by Marco Kalkman.

Her vocal performance always tells a story, be it in modern opera, free vocal improvisation, her one-woman show or a simple jazz standard.


Matthias Konrad

Electric Trombone

The Amsterdam trombonist Matthias Konrad has developed his musical talents from his early youth. First on the piano, then on the trombone, Matthias has become an experienced and much sought-after musician and trombonist. During his studies at the Conservatory of Amsterdam he became a member of the German BuJazzO led by Peter Herbolzheimer. In obtaining his Masters degree he had already established himself professionally with various Dutch and international groups such as Tetzepi, Bernie’s Lounge, The Glenn Miller Orchestra and Mathilde Santing. Matthias moved to New York to further develop his musical skills with renowned performers such as Robin Eubanks, Kenny Werner and Brian Lynch.

During this study, he recorded with both Werner and Lynch and played on a number of challenging stages, including the famous Blue Note. Back in Amsterdam he became a regular member of Tetzepi, the Konrad Koselleck Big Band, the Toro Ensamble and SoWhat. In addition, his work as a freelance trombonist includes studio sessions and concerts with De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig, The Kik, Mathilde Santing, Ellen ten Damme, La India, Ruben Hein, Amsterdam Klezmer Band, Marieke Jager, Tiny Little Big Band and the Glenn Miller Orchestra. The Very Next, Lilian Hak.

Laurent Muller

Creative Director & Text

Laurent Muller is often described as multi-talented, or a Renaissance man, but he himself considers it unsurprising that in 21st century Europe where one can live and travel freely, young artists should also feel free to cross borders of genre and form.

After studying piano and applied arts in Marseille Laurent was selected for the National School of Design (ENSCI-Les Ateliers) in Paris at the age of 17.

He lived and worked in various cities, including Paris, NYC, Valetta, London and Amsterdam, where he exhibited both as abstract painter and designer, before creating his own brand of sculpture-furniture in 2013. In addition, Laurent explored both psychotherapy and shamanism during his London years, where he was involved in the world of Opera, meeting great musicians and conductors.

Laurent constantly uses artist’s notebooks to keep track of his thoughts and ideas, and uses lateral thinking to express his questions on societal and human behaviours. Objects and compositions can reflect his analysis of these behaviours, which he sees as part of an exchange, a complex communion involving sexual tension between civilised human beings. As a growing militant for the equality of Human Rights, writing is currently taking a larger place in his life, and he sees it as a tool of infinite potential in colours, thoughts and emotions.

On the invitation and original idea of the composer Constantine Koukias, he is writing and co-creating the music theatre work Hypnos. Laurent is also currently writing another libretto based on the discovery and sharing of one’s dark side.


Constantine Koukias

mise-en-scene

Constantine Koukias is a Greek-Tasmanian composer & opera director of FOUNDATION IHOS AMSTERDAM based in The Netherlands. His avant-garde approach to the presentation of opera has resulted in hybrid productions such as Days and Nights with Christ, To Traverse Water, MIKROVION (Small Life – 36 Images in a Phantom Flux of Life), The Divine Kiss, Tesla – Lightning in His Hand and most recently The Barbarians, inspired by Constantine Cavafy’s famous poem Waiting for the Barbarians, commissioned by the Museum of Old & New Art.

His works range from large-scale music theatre & opera to mobile installation art events. In 1993 he was commissioned by the Sydney Opera House Trust to compose ICON, a large-scale music theatre piece to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Sydney Opera House. Music theatre works include Kimisis – Falling Asleep, Borders, Orfeo, Rapture – Sonic Taxi Performance, Schwa – The Neutral Vowel, Antigone and The Da Ponte Project.  His work Prayer Bells, which draws on traditions of Latin, Hebrew and Byzantine chant, had its USA premiere at the Chicago Cultural Centre.

In 2004 he was awarded a Sir Winston Churchill Fellowship. His Incantation IIfor soprano and digital delay won the International Valentino Bucchi Vocal Prize in Rome in 1997. Koukias has been the recipient of numerous international commissions and awards. His design credits include the internationally acclaimed Odyssey and Medea.

In 2014/15 , Kimisis – Falling Asleep, a chamber opera for Soprano & Electric Trombone, Splendor Amsterdam and Karavaan Festival. Before the Flames Goes outStedelijk Museum Amsterdam, Musée du Judaïsme Paris, Jüdisches Museum Berlin, The Boy Who Fell Out of The Sky for Ondes Martentot & Orchestra & Shaped by Trees – A Film opera by Biasino Pezzimenti.


Ivan Paitre

Technical Director

Ivan Paitre was born in France and is currently based Amsterdam. Over the years he has lived and worked in major cities all over the world: Montreal, Miami, Paris, London and São Paulo to name but a few.

Ivan is at home in a variety of genres, from sound and film production to site-specific décor and costume design, and is employed for projects both in the world of modern pop/opera/theatre and for commercial events.

His early training was focussed on the music industry.  From 2003 to 2005, he was mentored by multiplatinum producer/songwriter and Grammy winner Rudy Perez, in Miami Beach.

In 2008, after gaining much experience in the USA and France, he oversaw the live Sound Engineering production for Le Caveaux des oubliettes in Paris. In France too, he added lighting design to his skill set, discovering Cymatic light VJ installations of vibrating water.

Recent film projects include Werzerkering, Relivation by Wouter Springer, Ray van der Bas and Starring Pamela Anders – and Biljestdag (Day of Reckoning) by Gideon van Eeden & Ray van der Bas starring John Leddy, and Wendy Riksen.

He was the assistant producer on numerous editions of Inner Voyage by Ballet Bernasconi based in San Francisco.

Ivan is involved with the Amsterdam-based Kuza Studios – a creative agency aligned with the UN’s Sustainable Development goals, working with companies and foundations to create immersive digital media and powerful events to drive Corporate Social Responsibility.

He is currently working with director Konstantin Koukias as the associate designer for the Douglas Knehans/Juanita Rockwell chamber opera Backwards From Winter, on tour in 2018.


Anna Lindblad

Anna Lindblad aka: Menja Mist

Sound Design

Amsterdam-based Dj & producer Anna Lindblad was born in
Sweden but raised all over the world Already at an early age, she
had a fascination and passion for music that has grown, deepened
and evolved during a life of many travels and influences from
different cultures around the world. As a classically trained musician
(flute and bass) she strives to blend these musical cultures, creating
new fusions of ethnic music and modern techno, inviting the listener
to join in on a holistic musical journey

With a solid understanding of Jazz and classical music, and an
intuitive feeling for the unlimited possibilities that all music has to
transmit emotions, Anna took to DJ-ing some twelve years ago – her
preference being for the pronounced rhythms and bass-lines of Deep
House, Tech House and Techno Minimal genres. Anna’s career
demonstrates her many and varied skills: co-owner of production
company Jan Lindblad Prod (1994- 2000), sound engineer and
project manager, decor and builder for environmental &
documentary productions (projects in both India and Brazil), still
photography assistant (commercial photography), urban/pop-artist
(exhibitions at De Cantine & Roest).

Anna also has a background in motion picture sound engineering – in
the field and post production – and has mastered how to project and
seamlessly intertwine sounds that take the listener on a
journey. Since the beginning of 2017, she is the host of two monthly
radio shows on the prestigious radio station Di.fm and EJR-Radio.


Lithal Bio – IHOS Amsterdam Hypnos project

Lithal Yosef

Costume & Properties Designer

Lithal began her professional practice with the designing of handbags and accessories for the retail chain Precious Jewels. She is a passionatedesigner and campaigner of the eco fashion movement.

Lithal worked on numerous productions for Ballet Bernasconi based in San Francisco, which toured in Europe in 2017/18. She has also assisted the visual artist Mati Ale on Street Art Festival Tel Aviv in 2014, and been active in costume fabrication and décor design with The Vogue Academy.

Lithal now works in experimental theatre and independent film productions based in Amsterdam. She is currently working with director Konstantin Koukias for the Douglas Knehans & Juanita Rockwell chamber opera Backwards From Winter for tour in 2019/20. Lithal is currently in pre-production for Hypnos – a new performance work which will premiere in Amsterdam, Zurich, London and Australia in 2019.