Alwynne Pritchard & BIT20 Ensemble – Counting Backwards

Alwynne Pritchard & BIT20 Ensemble – <i>Counting Backwards</i>


NOK 180/225/250
World Premiere

BIT20 Ensemble
Jack Sheen – conductor
Alwynne Pritchard – voice, narrator & vocals
Dulcie Pugh – child narrator
Alexander Fiske Fosse, Gunhild Sannes Larsen, Mirte Bogaert and Philipo Njaidi ­– movement
Mirte Bogaert – movement consultant
Thorolf Thuestad – sound
Silje Grimstad – lights
Victoria Pritchard – voice coaching
Michele Braga – field recording

Photo: Thor Brødreskift

Bergen based composer and former Borealis director Alwynne Pritchard premieres her newest commission from the BIT20 Ensemble, conducted by Jack Sheen, featuring a child narrator, speech choir and a colossal mute tree stump. Through this work, Alwynne questions whether we, the people who have created the climate crisis can really find the answers without radically rethinking who we are and how we exist.

“Someone suggested to me recently that as human beings we should see ourselves as co-evolved parasites of the earth’s systems. If this is so, maybe nothing we do will ever solve the problems we've created. Maybe we should think instead of undoing: of letting go, descending, releasing – decaying, even. Perhaps before optimism and action, we need to experience collective grief – to cultivate acts in which we can submit to the necessity for our own inertia.”

In Counting Backwards, the virtuosic musicians of BIT20 Ensemble surround the audience, creating an immersive concert experience. Through the stillness a child’s voice speaks, echoed by a choir. Sound of water, stones, wood are present in the space. Counting backwards.

As she ruminates on our ability as a species to effect change, Alwynne challenges herself as a composer to unravel her own knowledge, to find new ways of working. Writing a piece unlike her previous work, she challenges herself to create new symbologies and mythologies. She tries to find a way to optimism through grief.

Presented in collaboration with BIT20 Ensemble
Commission supported by Kulturrådet