Sunday, October 9

Cuttings 16 - Bretch

'Bretch on Theatre'

On the use of Music in Epic Theatre:

"For the singing of the songs a special change of lighting was arranged; the orchestra was lit up' the titles of the various numbers were projected on the screens at the back, for instance 'Song concerning the insufficiency of Human Endeavour' or 'A short song allows Miss Polly Peachum to confess to her Horrified Parents that she is wedding to Murdered Macheath'... The musical items, which had the immediacy of a ballad, were of a reflective and moralizing nature...The criminals showed, sometimes through the music itself, that their sensations, feelings and prejudiced were the same as those of the average citizen and theatregoer... (p.85)

"The epic theatre is chiefly interested in the attitudes which people adopt towards one another, whenever they are socia-history significant (typical)." (p.86)

On Gestic Music:

"Gest...is a matter of overall attitudes...conveys particular attitudes adopted by the speaker towards other men. The musician sees this initially as an artistic principle, and not a specially interesting one. It may perhaps help him to adopt...his own political attitude while making music." (p.104)


->And so, not only the content of the songs, but also the techniques employed in their delivery - lighting, placards, alienation technique in the performances, the music itself, gestus - is geared towards social significance and political action.
->I singer-songwriter terms, the lyrics and the Way The Song Is Performed would be political - and would correspond to their own political attitudes.
->Brecht discusses the immediacy of the song and the way an audience must recognise (objectively, not subconsciously) the socio-historical as well as contemporary political significance of the song.