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AKHERON FALL

“Akheron Fall” is an audio-visual performance and a collaboration between musician and sound designer Roly Porter and visual artists Lucy Benson and Marcel Weber. It was initially developed for CTM festival in Berlin where the piece premiered at Berghain in January 2012. Each new iteration of the show marks a progression in it’s sonic and visual development.

„ Wilderness. This rank growth surrounding me. A whispering, shivering mass, drawing me in. It unfolds and ensnares, alien, yet strangely familiar. Within its depths I find fragments of former lives. Memories overgrown and mutated. Relics half buried, earth in my fingers, choking on spent air. Then, from nowhere, a distant refrain, a glistening in my peripheral vision. I glance at the sky and keep moving. The landscape shudders and transforms, darker now, disfigured. As defuse as my own thoughts. Adrift in my confusion, all purpose, all reason, falls away. I stumble through a stream of recollections, half grasped, already gone. Or is it a river? I hear the rushing of water now, pulsing, pounding.
I take a step and am lost. “

In Greek mythology, Akheron is one of the five rivers of Hades. The newly-dead would be ferried across the Akheron by Charon in order to enter the Underworld. It is a dim and dark place, yet a place of healing, cleansing and purging of the sins of humans.

PAST DATES

25th Jul 13 – Atonal Festival, Berlin, Germany
04th May 13 – LEV Festival, Gijon, Spain
11th Oct 12 – Electroni[k], Rennes, France
01th June 12 – Mutek, Montreal, Canada
03rd Dec 12 – CTM Festival, Berlin, Germany

The visual narrative of this a/v show is strongly inspired by Roly’s music, which has often been described as industrial. But it has a very different connotations for me, evoking ponderous images of deep forests, stormy skies and overgrown landscapes, the images of an upcoming winter.

While Lucy and I shared a similar interest in the motif of wilderness, we had different thoughts of what to find in it and what to express with it. While I was obsessed by the idea of being displaced in a surreal but strangely familiar space – or: losing oneself – Lucy liked to see it as an externalized emotional landscape and brought up the theme of derealization, an alteration in the perception, symptom of several psychiatric disorders. In the end, the piece encapsulates both of these approaches.

For the filming of “Akheron Fall” we travelled to several remote, peculiar places: a primordial swamp, birch fields reminiscent of Tarkovskii films, dark coniferous forests and several abandoned military complexes that date from the cold war. Shooting was difficult, these places are difficult to access, specific weather conditions were needed and the budget was low. We ended up building our own dolly and sliding systems as well as a flexible camera arm to achieve certain aesthetics, and shot everything under minimalistic conditions; which also gave us the freedom to experiment and discover new techniques.