Labyrinth Installation Concertos: Room 35




Commissioned by the Krannert Center. Room 35 for solo cello and electronics.

The labyrinth is a mysterious enigma and emblem of the modern world in which we can see ourselves as trapped, caught in a web of winding paths from which it is not easy to disentangle. However, every labyrinth offers the possibility to escape, and because of the performer's interactivity with their instruments (KBOW and LED CELLO) combined with improvisational elements, each performance will vary in terms of the "answer" or "exit" to the labyrinth of life, enhancing the deeply personal experience for each viewer.

The Installation Concertos explore the labyrinth theme with music, visual art (through film and live performance), and advanced technology. Through these explorations, each interdisciplinary creative team adds to the ever expanding relationship between music and visual art. Art for House of Solitude by Carmen Kordas. Art for Room 35 (inspired by the semi novella by Anais Nin) by Erika Harrsch, animation by Brad Peterson, direction by Michael McQuilken.

In it’s original multimedia form, Room No. 35 unified the virtuosic cello performance of Maya Beiser, the intricate and vivid visual worlds of Erika Harrsch (with video design by Brad Peterson), and an orchestra of celli woven into a unique tapestry of sound by Paola Prestini. In a theatrical concept led by Michael McQuilken, inspired by Anais Nin’s seminal novella, The House of Incest , this production maps hidden cravings of the heart, traverses shadowy recesses of the mind, and seeks to unify the tangential impulses of the human spirit. Room No. 35 invites its audience into a tranquil dream, a fading remembrance of a hotel room submerged in water and surrounded by gaping eyes. Then, over the course of 30 minutes, this room folds back upon itself until tranquility blossoms into a tidal wave of bright light and ecstatic sound and then collapses back to the mouth of a calm sea once again. Through the cello, enhanced by LED paneling, a direct relationship of the musician and her instrument reveals itself as an intimate exposition to the audience. This duality reveals the labyrinth. Visually, the work combines paintings, drawings, photography and three dimensional elements, video animation, and the creation of a visual living installation. The music contains an interactive component specific to the LED cello developed with Meric Adriansen and eDream. Finally, the installation concerto creates a larger labyrinth with the symbolic use of advanced technology to depict intimate human turbulence and need for control.



Funders and Partners


"the pioneering project fuses live performance with video art to expand the boundaries of multimedia works"

Joseph Delaney, NOWNESS