The concept of this piece is heavily influenced by Julius Eastman’s Gay Guerrilla, which famously repurposes a Lutheran chorale as an emblem for gay martyrdom. “Eastman’s performances transformed societal refuse (excrement, homosexuality, drag performance) into something highly valued, ritualized, and sacred. […] The profane aspects of deviant sexuality are recuperated through a dynamic process of resignification and creative juxtaposition of musical signs.” In this work, the concept of cloaking in the banal, an essential protective element of queer identity still, is elaborated upon using a secular 17th century popular Flemish tune, turning it into a grand guignol, an uncanny valley, a Supermarionation of meaningless tonality. The endless D major chords outlined by its carillon-esque melodic line are like the happy little church towers of Flanders stomping on a human face forever. Or it’s a concert opener with a twist, whatever you can print to keep the audience happy. This reading is much akin to “História para ninar gente grande” by Estação Primeira de Mangueira, or “El Hielo (ICE)” by La Santa Cecilia: music that is often consumed without any regard to its message. Belgium hasn’t really dealt with its past so far, so why start now.
Danserye VI (a rabid rose)
About the Artists
Werner Put composes music for various settings, ranging from symphonic orchestra, musical theatre and symphonic wind band to chamber music and solo repertoire. His compositions are founded on one of the basic principles of Western music: the interplay between two horizontal lines and the vertical result of this. By combining this basic principle with a targeted use of the achievements from the 20th century and an interest in cross-over with jazz and pop, he is searching for a 21st-century language of his own.