Tido Visser - voice
Marc Reichow - piano
Nikos Veliotis - cello
Yannnis Kyriakides - electronics
Seamus Cater, Mara Tomanek, Mark Morse, Ayelet Harpaz - additional voices
66 tracks: total length 60:00
The Buffer Zone is an audio-visual work that explores boundaries of separation. The work is inspired by the UN Buffer Zone in Cyprus that runs across the island and divides the two communities.
In the performance the audience and the space is split into two halves by hanging video screens. On each side there is a musician (piano and cello) who play imaginary duets with a virtual instrument on the other side. The central character is a UN soldier (singer/actor) who guards the buffer zone and freely crosses from side to side.
The central image of the work is of the inner state of the UN soldier and how that is projected into the divided space. The soldier has to deal with his own boredom and his own dislocation and relocation in a desolate no man’s land where his main duty consists of reporting and turning away trespassers who stumble into the zone.
Based on interviews and recordings from UN soldiers in Cyprus, the piece explores both the undercurrents of tension and inner and outer landscapes of the peculiar state of being ‘in limbo’, between two physical and mental states.
The sound world of the work consists of UN interviews, nature field recordings in the buffer zone, electronic sounds of military technology, piano, cello and voices , from straight to highly processed. The visual material in the piece is created by the video artist HC Gilje using live surveillance cameras set around the space and pre-recorded and manipulated images of the actions of the performer. The performance is directed by the choreographer Andre Gingras who has brought out the absurdity and alienation of the the peculiar state of being; of watching over the ‘buffer zone’.
Commissioned and premiered at the Festival aan de Werf in May 2004. Written with financial support from the Dutch Fonds voor de Scheppende Toonkunst.