UrWald is a feature length music theatre work for ensemble, actor and film images, by composer and director Arnoud Noordegraaf and writer Adrian Hornsby. UrWald is commissioned by the Dutch ensemble New Amsterdams Peil. A fast‐aced and virtuoso musical and filmic narrative leads us from daily life into a primeval forest, where the contrast between cultivation and natural entropy is stark, and where the human desire to control nature might just not prevail.
Renowned actor Porgy Fransen features as a narrator, a live foley‐artist and as a character who is lost, outside the film reality.
UrWald explores the fundamental human desire to create order, and the vulnerability of that order to forces of nature. Modernity has carved out cities and even entire nations of carefully defined spaces, each accommodating perfectly arranged lives. Yet nature insists that the entropy of a system must Always be rising. Just beyond the perimeter of man’s order stand the agents of its ruin; their leaves rippling gently in the breeze. UrWald uses the forest to express the dark overpowering will of nature. Beneath all Europe lies a forest – the proto- or ur-Europe over which our current one is written – and the soil remains rich with its memory. Any space left abandoned the forest silently repossesses, splitting open roads and growing up through roofs. And metaphysically too, a forest surrounds and underlies our consciousness, occupying large areas of ourselves in which we become lost or frightened.
The music,or rather the one-on‐one combination of composition and scenario writing, introduces a new and unprecedented style. Tempo and timbre-changes are reflected in the film scenes, and vice versa: the sound of clipping stems in a greenhouse cuts sudden pauses into the music, the sound of blood drops on a school floor becomes the pulse for the composition. Every ingrediënt is connected to the composition, derives its dramatical power from it.