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Performania: mini-computers in balloons and a real electric oboe in cheerful craft theatre

There are some people, who would prefer to tinker all day with soldering irons and circuit boards. I once had such an uncle who sometimes did not entirely safe things with a 220-volt electric train, so I limited myself to battery-powered Lego. That you can also do something with electronics and music was of course already known, but what I saw in the performance Performania was the superlative of fun. Two musicians with things that make music when you move them, or that move when you make music.

Duo Perforator consists of oboist Marlies van Gangelen and inventor Akim Moiseenkov, and they love to tinker. They are nerds in the best sense of the word, which makes for a rather heartwarming three quarters of an hour of musical theatre. I saw the kindergarten version, and the kids were baffled by the self-propelled musical cube, the oboe that ripped like a guitar and the balloons that tapped while twinkling through the room. And so, in the meantime, music is being created. Music that runs from inventor's squeak to compelling beats, and where beautiful turns into 'different'.


It sometimes looks like Stockhausen, and it is, because Perforator makes this performance in two versions. Besides the toddler version, there is also a piece for adults, where the emphasis is more on the created sounds, and less on the clownery. This can only be beautiful. Because Perforator's greatest strength lies in the fun of discovery. Of sound, of autonomous movement, of sound. And that is where the direction of Jochem Stevenuiter (of Bambie) is an important driving force.

Until recently, a performance like Perforator could only be conceived but never performed by musicians on a small budget. But now you can buy mini-computers the size of a matchbox online, or at a discounter, for a few euros. They can't do much, but they contain a motion sensor, a Wi-Fi chip and sometimes a microphone. Miracles are now within reach for any up-and-coming talent brave enough to drill a hole in an oboe.

Because they invented that too: a real electric oboe, not one of those things with a microphone, but with an element like a Fender Stratocaster has one. Go and listen to what that sounds like.

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Wijbrand Schaap

Cultural journalist since 1996. Worked as theatre critic, columnist and reporter for Algemeen Dagblad, Utrechts Nieuwsblad, Rotterdams Dagblad, Parool and regional newspapers through Associated Press Services. Interviews for TheaterMaker, Theatererkrant Magazine, Ons Erfdeel, Boekman. Podcast maker, likes to experiment with new media. Culture Press is called the brainchild I gave birth to in 2009. Life partner of Suzanne Brink roommate of Edje, Fonzie and Rufus. Search and find me on Mastodon.View Author posts

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