The first session, which was actually a test round designed to prepare for the second, supplied us with a lot of useful information. Because this was a test round, the information was only roughly analysed. Most important for me was the fact that the group (of nine) could identify with the story. They experienced that the story and the music connected – and was perceived as a whole. Some of the feedback motivated, or at least confirmed, my own need for making changes or adjustments to the performance, which I did before the second round:
– One important change concerned the balance between the text and the music. By starting with the text alone in this first version, I directed the focus to the story immediately. This made it hard for both me, and the audience, to experience the music as something more than a comment on the text. Only towards the end did the music take on a more important role. Starting the performance with music and sound in the second version, I experienced that this allowed greater focus to be placed on the sounds and music throughout the piece.
– Further feedback indicated that the content of the performance was perceived as taking place within an expressional “comfort zone”, and there was a call for more dynamics connected to the “underlying emotional drama” in the text, especially regarding the last section of the text where I speak about death. (As mentioned, this was a kind of “expert” audience with very competent comments!) I realised that I had been afraid of taking the musical expression “too far”, afraid of breaking the connection between the music and the text. This feedback encouraged me to create a more dramatic, dark sequence and to make use of an emotional potential that is more connected to the initial narrative than expressed through it.