A musical performance
World premiere 19th December 2019, Old Power Station, Ljubljana
Running time 50 minutes. No intermission.
Concept and performance Beton Ltd.
Katarina Stegnar, Branko Jordan, Primož Bezjak, Jure Vlahovič, Janez Weiss, Marko Brdnik, Maksim Špelko, Toni Soprano Meneglejte, 004, Maja Vižin
The new chapter of the German cycle, which Beton Ltd. started with the productions Ich kann nicht anders (2016) and Grosse Erwartungen (2018) now begins with a performance Mahlzeit, which – as the title that could simply be translated as Bon appétit! reveals – is dedicated to the time of eating,grazing, snacking and spontaneous socializing. Music is on the front of this performance, more specifically, the music created in the past decade for Beton Ltd. by Jure Vlahovič and Janez Weis who work as a tandem Dead Tongues. Together with the stage outline of the performance, a vinyl record came out; another place of music expression, which along with the creative achievements of the tandem also presents new pieces and arrangements in a seemingly unrecognizable versions, provided by Maksim Špelko and Marko Brdnik, and which is announcing a new springboard for potential continuation, expressed in the title Hoppla, wir leben. The performance, which simultaneously opens the conventional, even commodified musical forms into an innovative and simply adorably confused theatre context, thus stretches between the melancholy of the advancing greyness of the early middle age, undefined longing and poetic nostalgia, and the lonely cries of dying political radicalism. As the music critic Muanis Sinanović writes, the concrete common denominator of the performance is "a sugary, affected guitar" which intones into "some kind of colourful wool of a rounded sound image, while the clever and lively drums slam through it into a hard and unbendable foundation." Despite being self-referential when it comes to the history of its performers, Mahlzeit thus appears to be a fluid sound of modern time, changeable identities, orientations and life stories mixed into a colourful palette, which just like food, prepared with attention and love, doesn’t satiate just body, but at times makes the spirit happy.