ALAN T.

AlanT_EnTete.jpg

Human beings cannot be unplugged, nor can they unplug themselves;
they only ever care about themselves.
But above all, unlike the machine, they cannot step outside time.
For the machine, there is no time, whereas man is condemned to live in time.

Extract from the original text of Frank Witzel


On Christmas Eve 2013, the British Crown issued a formal posthumous pardon to the mathematician Alan Turing. After openly acknowledging a homosexual relationship, Turing was forced in 1952 to undergo chemical castration, homosexuality being a criminal offence in Britain at the time. Shut out from scientific circles and gradually excluded from society altogether, Turing died at the premature age of 42.
The trajectory of this exceptional figure’s life, and his relationship with the wider community, demands the most intense reappraisal. The concentrated genius and sheer historical importance of his work seem to be in sharp contrast to his social status and role as a victim. Turing seems, in a tragic sense, to embody the history of the 20th century: one of its very greatest contributors to scientific progress and yet the victim of dark forces and profound intolerance – all because he was different.
The libretto, by German author Frank Witzel, depicts a character who is both historic and symbolic. It is a non-linear journey whose narrative shifts from the exterior to the interior – recalling memories and fragments of existence as it shifts towards larger metaphysical questions.
The text, divided into six parts, shows us Turing – portrayed by the German actor Thomas Hauser – speaking at the twilight of his life: alone, in his apartment which he himself called the ‘Nightmare Room’, he reminisces about his childhood, his investigations on the subject of machines and of artificial intelligence, which he himself invented, and recalls his trial and exclusion from society.
Several characters are interwoven around this central performance (portrayed by Polish singer Joanna Freszel): Turing’s mother; Joan, his colleague at the codebreaking centre in Bletchley Park during the war; and the daughter of Dr Grünbaum, who treated Turing in the final years of his life.
The text revealed Turing to be a fragile, nonconformist character, fascinated by numbers, by alchemy and by the fundamental condition of things. Despite the oppression to which he was subjected, he remains a luminous character whose intelligence projects him beyond reality, like an alchemist of existential thought.


VIDEO : TEASER - 2021

VIDEO : PRESENTATION BY PAR PIERRE JODLOWSKI - 2021

PICTURES - FIRST PERFORMANCE - WARSAW AUTUMNS SEPT. 2021

SUPPORTS

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Instrumentation

soprano, actor, flute, violin, clarinet, e-guitar, trombone
video, scenography, lights and electronics


Details

dur. : 1h20'

Commissionned by: Compagnie éOle, Ircam-Centre Pompidou, Philharmonie de Paris
Delegate production: Compagnie éOle
Coproduction: Ircam- Centre Pompidou, SWR Classic - Donaueschinger Musiktage, Warsaw Autumn Festival, Music Centre De Bijloke (Ghent)

With the special support of: Adam Mickiewicz Institute, Polish Ministry of Culture
And supported by: CNM, SACEM, German-French-Swiss fund for contemporary music : Impuls neue Musik, Bureau Export, Occitanie en scène, Odyssud Ville de Blagnac, DRAC Midi-Pyrénées, Région Occitanie, Ville de Toulouse, Conseil Général de la Haute-Garonne

Computer part of the work produced in Ircam-Centre Pompidou’s studios

Conception, composition, video, lights, staging: Pierre Jodlowski
Original text: Frank Witzel
French translation: Olivier Mannoni
Polish translation: Zbigniew Naliwajek
English translation: Saul Lipetz
Dutch translation: Mathias De Prest
Dramaturge: Martina Stütz
Scenography: Claire Saint-Blancat
Set construction: Claire Daulion
Live video: Yann Philippe, Matthieu Guillin
Soprano: Joanna Freszel
Actor: Thomas Hauser
Musicians: Nadar Ensemble: Winnie Huang violin - Katrien Gaelens flute - Dries Tack Clarinet - Thomas Moore - Trombone - Kobe Van Cauwenberghe e-guitar
Computer music design Ircam: Thomas Goepfer
Sound engineer: Kamil Keska

First performance: 18th of September 2021 Warsaw Autumn Festival - Poland


Publishing

Pierre Jodlowski's Publishing
score pdf - full score and parts

Available on request


Presentation

Download .pdf