Force & Freedom

A digital crisis diary in the Beethoven Year

All previous clips can be found here: tagebuch.navigators.de

"Must it be? It must be!" This message, which Ludwig van Beethoven inscribed in the fourth movement of his String Quartet op. 135, was one of the approaches of our work for a project for the composer's 250th birthday. Together with the Kuss Quartet, Nico and the Navigators wanted to develop a work entitled "Force & Freedom" - a staged concert that places the music in the field of tension between external constraints and inner freedom in which Beethoven had to move and assert himself throughout his life.

Shortly after the beginning of the intensive preparations, which were as poetic as they were political, however, the motto underwent a previously unimaginable update, dictated to our imagination by reality: on 18 March rehearsals had to be cancelled in the Berliner Ufer-Studios, as well as the premiere on 1 May, together with the entire Schwetzinger Festspiele.

We can only address the compulsion to isolate ourselves, which is the result of the Corona epidemic and is hitting countless people as hard as we have been, through creative freedom if we don't want to lapse into resignation. But where we normally depend on interaction with our partners and the reaction of our audience, we must now act out of isolation. Therefore we are looking for vanishing points and free spaces that lead from the analogue to the digital world: At the beginning of April, Nico and the Navigators and their musical partners launched an internet project based on their work on "Force & Freedom". In addition to the questions raised there, the project also negotiates the current restrictions of our lives. In short, fast or meditative clips, based on the wonderful recordings of all Beethoven quartets by the Kuss Quartet, which have been published during the Covid crisis, individual miniatures of the performers are put together, which, as a growing diary, store small memories of our common present in isolation. In this way, we are testing a technique beyond the usual streaming: the choice of pieces and the editing of the scenes put the snapshots into context and develop a production from fragments.

Even though this ongoing process is not unlike our tried and tested method of guided improvisation, it cannot of course replace the collective experience of many people in art. This is why the work also describes the individual's longing for the other, which we should take with us from this crisis as a lasting experience. Beethoven's "Heiliger Dankgesang", which was also the subject of our original work, tells of new confidence after illness is overcome. We hope for such external liberation, in which inner compulsion for art can once again be lived together - and therefore continue our cycle as "Work in Progress" with music, dance, what has been said and sung every day until the original premiere date on 1 May. The individual steps can be followed on Facebook, Instagram or Vimeo and on the web.

At the end of this path, an extraordinary memory game awaits you, the parts of which can be selected and put together from a total of 29 clips.
With the right resolution, tickets for future performances of "Force & Freedom" can be won. In this way, a free game develops, in which clear rules apply, of course. Must it be? It must be!

Our video diary can be accessed via the following channels:

Under this link you can find all previous clips: tagebuch.navigators.de
Facebook: facebook.com/nicoandthenavigators
Instagram: instagram.com/nico_and_the_navigators/
Vimeo: vimeo.com/channels/forceandfreedom

Under this link all experts and followers can win tickets for 2021 at our tricky Beethoven video memory game: memory-berlin.web.app/


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