The library of Jane Goodall

Synth-pop performance & concept album

2022


The central theme of the story being presented is inspired by the writings of the German philosopher Hans Blumenberg about the moment when the last ape became a human being, thanks to the action of defending himself by throwing a stone. By creating the first spatial distance between itself and its predator using an object, the last primate began to perceive its own self. From this moment on, it was precisely the distances, understood as empty spaces between bodies, that delineated the stages in which the mind began to perceive time in a more dilated manner, questioning, anticipating.
The performance deconstructs these stages backwards in time into potential chapters, each with a different narrating voice (a generation of minds), which obsessively seeks to understand itself and give meaning to its existence by appealing to a myth, an authority, a mother – a figure represented here by the British primatologist Jane Goodall.
Having become in recent years a voice for the rights of all animal species with a strong ecological and conservationist character, the scientist has spent the last 50 years studying the life, behavior, ‘culture’ and death of countless generations of chimpanzees. It is hers, the library with all the notes, studies and answers, incomprehensible to the subjects studied. It is the figure of the scientist-god who here assumes a non-judgmental, analytical and mute role to the obsessions of his subjects.
The distance between the questions and a possible answer grows wider and wider as the concert chapters back in time to the throwing of the stone.

The performance/concert uses the philosophical-anthropological path traced by Hans Blumenberg as a starting point to probe the mechanisms of myth-making, value-making and meaning-making, sometimes peculiar and unique to each human being, sometimes collectivized.
Using a purely synth-pop language (the eternal musical present) and making use of a constant reshuffling of allegories and metaphors in the narrative development (the eternal discursive present), the story told plays with the contemporary myth of “We”, but it is also a journey into the existentialist crisis of a conscience that is at times prey to an almost apathetic scientific analysis of events (the figure of Jane), at times emotional, ignorant, at times imbecile, cynical, self-destructive and buffoonish (all the other characters).

Camera: Lion Bischof
Choir direction: Christian Seidler
Choir: The Jane Goodall ensemble

Special thanks to:
Danilo Bastione, Claudio Matthias Bertolini, Giacomo Crespi, Susanna Delfrati, Fabian Feichter, Léa Manoussakis di-Bona, Paolo Matera, Benita Meißner, Judith Neunhäuserer, Irene Prandoni, Riccardo Rudi, Stefania Ruggiero, Linnèa Schwarz, Hilde Talsma and everyone who lent a hand, an eye or an ear for the realization of this project.

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