Henning Christiansen – Mediterranean Music Water LP
“Mediterranean Music Water (Mare nostrum in moedium terrae) op. 203”, a never before issued tape composition, belongs to a body of work embarked upon during the 1980s and 90s connected to Sicily, the other most notable and available being “Op. 201 L’Essere Umano Errabando, La Voca Errabando”, issued by The Henning Christiansen Archive in 2020. These works were an extension of Ursula and Henning Christiansen’s meeting and befriending the Sicily based couple Carlo Quartucci and Carla Tatò, with whom they regularly visited and collaborated.
Like its predecessor, the aforementioned Op. 201, “Mediterranean Music Water op. 203” is a conceptualization of abstract theatricality at the connection of place and its relationship to the sea. Performed by Ursula Reuter Christiansen and Henning Christiansen and recorded at a small performing arts theatre in Erice, Sicily – Teatro Gebel Hamed – during December of 1991, the abstract for this work reads: “In the morning (after the storm), on the beach. The sea has thrown some things on the beach. Blue light – some mist? On the ground. Ursula’s slides on the wall. Henning is rolling from the background of the stage slowly, very slowly, towards, in a fish net. I come in looking for the things the sea has left and discover him. I roll him out of the net, he’s nearly dead, and try to get life in him. Light in the background in rainbow colours. Ursula wears a partlett dress, as a siren.”
These images lay a foundation and context for the sounds that emerge over the album’s two sides, a fascinating conjunction between the power of water and the human spirit. Through the processing of heavy delay and reverb, we encounter the howling utterances of violin tones, vocalizations, and countless unplayable instrumental and non-instrumental sound sources, gathering in a vast and sprawling serious of sonorous expanses that seem to echo the power, movements, and myths tied to the Mediterranean.
350 copies, screen-printed sleeve, 16 page book