Jan 2020 | music | art

Kijk mam!

Live music for a theater play inspired by 'The still face experiment' exploring the influence of the mother-child relation in our way of communicating.

Mothers, we can't live without them. The mother's heartbeat is the first sound you hear. It is the beginning of a livelong connection. 'Kijk mam!' ('Look mom!' in Dutch) is a play about contact inspired by 'The still face experiment' of Dr. Edward Tronick. To understand how we communicate with our surroundings we have to look back at our first connection. What influence does the maternal bond have on our way of communicating? And what happens if this contact is disrupted?

The entirety of the composition is based around the heartbeat. The heartbeat is almost always there, either in patterns and rhythms or actually as a heartbeat. The heartbeat drives the dreamy opening, the upbeat playful sequence and the slow decline from contact through denial into desperation. Halfway through the play a live looper is used to symbolize growing up. As the older input slowly fades away the looper is filled with darker words while the heartbeat keeps going. Tension rises and so does the rate of the heartbeat. Near the end of the play suddenly the heartbeat stops together with all electronic sounds. With the heartbeat almost taken for granted now its absence signifies its importance.

Made together with:
Performers: Didi van Catz, Linde van Dorp, Anne Scheurer en Ebony Wilson
Composer: Ward Slager
Playwright: Maaike van Maltha
Dramaturge: Laura van Gurp
Concept and director: Ieke van Dam