Photo: Aljosa Rebolj

MEDEA
Theatre play
Produced by Centro de Producción del Festival de Mérida
Directed by Tomaz Pandur
Opening night: August 20th 2009

Euripides' Medea, the 5th collaboration between director Tomaz Pandur and Silence, was produced by the Centro de Producción del Festival de Mérida. The play features a cast of acclaimed Spanish actors, including Blanca Portillo, Julieta Serrano, Alberto Jiménez and Asier Etxeandía. The score - a deviation from the piano based music realized for Pandur's previous plays - features an assortment of plucked string instruments combined with the tapan, a traditional drum typical of the Balkans. The play also features music by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Lacrimosa), Gustavo A. Santaolalla (The Blinding Sun), Hans Zimmer (Journey to the Line), as well as one Bolgarian (Pilentze Pee) and two Macedonian traditional songs (Jovano, Jovanke and Zajdi, Zajdi Jasno Solnce), performed live by the female ensamble.

The original score was performed by a handful of exceptional instrumentalists. Accomplished composer and multiinstrumentalist Uros Rakovec performed the entire selection of string instruments. The latter included the acoustic guitar, electric guitar, the mandola and the charango. The tapan was performed by Marjan Stanic, a remarkably versatile percussionist whose mastery becomes evident in tracks like I Ate Your Heart!, The Wedding Gift and Rivers Flowing Upstream. Stanic also performed the darbuka - a Turkish traditional drum - on Queen of the Balkans. Rihard Zadravec, with whom Silence first collaborated on Betontanc's play Dance or Die, performed the soundtrack's most curious piece: the Larghetto for Six Accordions. The soundtrack also contains one song, Lullaby, a touching waltz interpreted by actress Blanca Portillo (the version featured on this page is performed by Benko). The upright bass featured in the song was performed by Silence's longtime collaborator Ziga Golob.

The contrast between Rakovec's subtle, nuanced performances and Stanic's relentless, primeval drives captures the essence of Medea; a woman torn between her maternal instincts and her thirst for revenge. The tribal, hypnotic beats and ethnic instruments provide the soundtrack's specific, all but folkloric sound. However, a closer inspection of the compositions also reveals a pinch of post-modernist logic lurking in several of the pieces. Body of my Body, for instance, consists of only four interchanging tones - a concept closer to Arvo Pärt or György Ligeti than traditional music.

By combining the idioms of contemporary and traditional music, the soundtrack becomes in essence a metaphor for the encounter between two worlds - the Greek civilization and Medea's paganism. Pandur's Medea, portrayed as an immigrant, demonstrates that the clash between cultures is as present and turbulent today as it was in Euripides' times.

01 Prologue
02 Queen of the Balkans
03 Open Wound
04 Body of My Body
05 In the Garden I Dream, No Child Will Ever Play
06 I Marry My Waiting
07 Rivers Flowing Upstream
08 Tree Tops of Colchis
09 I Ate Your Heart!
10 The Wedding Gift
11 Desolation
12 Exile
13 Jason
14 Larghetto for Six Accordions
15 Lullaby

Watch The Making of Medea
Listen to the score

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