Music: Pedro Alcalde / Sergio Caballero
Choreographer: Nacho Duato
Set: Jaffar Chalabi
Costumes: Nacho Duato
Lighting: Brad Fields
Premiered by the Compañía Nacional de Danza (CND)
Venue: Teatre Auditori Sant Cugat, Barcelona
Date: 30th of November 2007
The project came about in a first proposal as a Requiem for the victims of the train bombings in Atocha, Madrid, in 2004. Following that brief and with an initial composition, more lyrical than the definitive one, the project went through successive stages of abstraction to reach the final subject on the ephemeral nature of the human condition.
In ancient Hebrew poetry, the word “hevel” formed part of the repertoire of images, such as “water”, “shadow” or “smoke”, which were used to describe the fragility and ephemeral nature of the human condition. Its most prominent use appears in the Bible at the beginning of The Book of Ecclesiastes (Qoheleth I: 2). “Hevel” was fixed in the Vulgate-version as “vanitas”, hence “vanity.” Hevel Hevel Hevelym … hakol Hevel: Vanitas vanitatum, omnia vanitas (King James Version: “Vanity of vanities, all is vanity”). It is in its use as “vanitas”, as nothing, a blank or void, where “hevel” makes sense here.
Also Hevel (Abel) is the second son of Adam and Eve, murdered by his brother Cain. The meaning of the word resonates symbolically in his name.
The main idea underlying the musical construction of Hevel was to create a secular requiem without using elements common to tradition: working the content without its conventional musical form. A barely recognizable residue from a funeral march by Purcell and another by Webern are heard in the distance as a trace and musical homage to the forms of the past.
1- Piano: bell chords
2- Woodwinds: flute and bass clarinet: multiphonics
3- Strings: violin, viola, violoncello and double bass
4- Brass: trombones and tuba
5- Sounds: 100 Hz, environmental sounds, termites, rattlesnake, cicadas
6- Voice: male voice in Swedish and female voice in English with words chopped and edited for the complete elimination of semantic content.
30-11-2007 Teatre Auditori Sant Cugat Spain 3
20-03-2008 Teatro de la Zarzuela Madrid Spain 9
26-07-2008 La Nau Sagunto Spain 2
Total performances 14