Before the odysseys, There was Odyssey
for cello and imaginary choir

“How did I see the Mediterranean in my mind’s eye ?
What was my angle ?
Over the years, I had collected a wealth of musical moments, treasures just waiting to be used. So how come I was still knocking at the door ?
Recurrent images kept running through my mind and it was there that I began to find the key.
First and foremost was unity of place.
I saw a circular auditorium with a sandy floor baked by a scorching sun and banks of terraced stone seats.
A woman alone.
It was here in this arena overlooking the sea that it all happened.
Here that she lived her impassioned relationship with the Gods.
Here that battles were fought.
Here that adventures unfolded.
In a state of drama, a state of love, fury, waiting and dream…
I realised that to step into this story I had to be alone in this place. Stripped of all support; no harmony, no timbre ; not even presence itself.
Facing up to the elements alone.
The sea, the storm, the wind, the sirens of passing ships. The noises. The silence when the sun burns down and even the crickets go quiet.
I had to be submerged, resist, never be an onlooker. I had to be a doer.
Hence the idea of a soundtrack.
I set out on the long task of gathering a wide range of sounds from
different sources. The cinema, real-life scenes, sound libraries….
I set to work on this raw material with Franck Rossi. Mixing, distorting, processing, superimposing sounds. Creating a scenario of sound.
A scenario that I could then assemble into a sequence of ‘adventures’, a dreamscape in time.
It was time for the music to return. I was ready.”

Explosion • Before Sound • Narrative • Chaos • Storm • The Scream • Lullaby
Canticle • Vertigo • Waves • Turn over • Casta Diva • Adio

Sonia Wieder-Atherton, based on a melody heard on a ney
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, music inspired by a psalmody of Egyptian origin
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, Souvenir de l’ecclésiaste adapted from André Hajdu
Franck Krawczyk, Repetitio
Georges Aperghis, Le reste du Temps, extract
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, music inspired by a Corsican song
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, music inspired by a Hebraic song
Johann Sebastian Bach, 6th suite in D major (prelude)
Enrique Granados, Elegia eterna
Sonia Wieder-Atherton, music inspired by an Arabo-Andalusian song
Sergueï Prokofiev, Symphony-Concerto Op.125” (2nd movement – extract)
Vincenzo Bellini, Casta Diva-Norma

Design, Art Direction, Sound track idea and material : Sonia Wieder-Atherton
Musical collaboration : Franck Krawczyk
Sound track : Franck Rossi • Set design : Romain Pellas
Lighting design : Franck Thévenon, based on an idea by Xavier Arias
Production for creation : Madamelune, coproduction with La Gaité Lyrique,
Jeu de Paume theatre (Aix-en-Provence), Noirlac Abbaye, La Maison de la Musique
(Nanterre), St Quentin en Yveline theatre, Arsenal de Metz
With the support of Drac île-de-France and Adami
Photo credits : ARR and Marthe Lemelle