Lovesongs from the Suitcase

Oh, love, love, so fickle you are, just like the swift river that rushes by.
The river will flow away, and nor is love here to stay, it too will pass forever, like a rosemary leaf it will wither.

Moravian folk song

Titled LOVESONGS FROM THE SUITCASE this project started in 2004 with a journey to the performance-festival “Inner Spaces” in Poznań, Poland. 
With an old suitcase carrying 7 Moravian folk songs I headed off singing along to the mezzo-soprano voice and the piano-sounds coming out of the suitcase.
Around the end of the 19th century the Czech composer Leoš Janáček had begun to collect Moravian folk poetry in songs and to arrange them as art-songs. The sound of melancholy, longing, farewell and awakening I heard in this music, and I sang along with it in the language I understood: sound. Thus, while singing and humming to the foreign words, I translated the art-songs back into folk songs. 
While singing I wrote down thoughts of love on postcards. I put them into envelopes, sealed them and gave them to the suitcase. 
At the end of each performance I asked the audience to write loveletters and give them to the suitcase on its 7-year-journey to be exhibited and published afterwards.
For exhibitions I wrote explanations and instructions for the visitors, asking for 

During 7 years coincidences brought me to 7 cities outside my hometown. Almost an odyssey, as love, at times, seemed to have fallen asleep, to have disappeared, to have been enchanted or bewitched... to suddenly, and sometimes unexpectedly, wake up again: in a gallery, a museum, a studio, at a train-station, on a public space, in a café or a park; on a festival, an exhibition - and on my wedding-day.

Listen now, listen, the earth it’s all rumbling, is that bells that ring and chime, or a maple-tree sprouting?

These are no bells ringing, nor a maple sprouting, it’s my sweetheart girl with her lover parting.

Moravian folk song

Fotos: (c) Thorsten Keller

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