Sound of Freedom (2011) is a performance about the physics of sound, the rhetoric of weapon production, acoustic bazookas, the ability of war to create meaning, and children songs used for torture. Sound of Freedom looks at the nature of warfare through music, and investigates music used as weapons, and weapons used as music.
As music major Hilding Runar of the Norwegian Army puts it: «Music can change peoples lives».
As sergeant Mark Hadsell of the US Army puts it: «If you play heavy metal for 24 hours, your brain and body functions start to slide, your train of thought slows down and your will is broken. That’s when we come in and talk to you.»
As Charles Darwin puts it: «musical notes and rhythm were first acquired for the sake of charming the opposite sex».
As Nato-soldiers in Afghanistan put it: «To be in combat is worth the three months without sex… it is better than fucking!»
Sound of Freedom takes as its starting point the overall importance sound has for human beings, how sound is a fundamental aspect of both human life and nature itself. In the form of music, sound is one of the strongest ways of engaging people emotionally. In the form of moving air, sound(waves) can be turned into weapons. In the global war on terror, the same music can be played both in the battlefield – to build you up – and in the interrogation rooms – to break you down. The ability of music to create ecstasy, to make you «loose yourself», might also make music the perfect tool to literally make you loose yourself, forever.
Sound of Freedom (2011)
Concept, text, visuals, music, directed by:
Amund Sjølie Sveen.
ULTIMA festival, Dramatikkens hus, Oslo (NO), September 11th 2011, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11
Duration: ca 60 min (no intermission)
Culture council Norway, Freedom of Expression foundation, spenn.no (support for art production in schools)
Sound of Freedom was nominated for the HEDDA-prize 2012 for best Norwegian theater performance for young people.
Trondheim (NO), Avant Garden 2016
Fribourg (CH), Belluard Bollverk 2014
Groningen (NL), Noorderzon 2013
Vienna (AUS), Tanzquartier Wien 2013
Copenhagen (DK), Caféteatret 2013
Weimar (D), German National Theater 2012
Larvik (NO), Marked for musikk 2012
Riga (LAT), HomoAlibi 2012
Stamsund (NO), SIT 2012
Tromsø (NO), Vårscenefest 2012
Murmansk (RUS), Nordic Days 2012
Bergen (NO), Borealis festival
Svolvær (NO), Nordnorsk kunstnersenter 2012
Kirkenes (NO), Barents Spektakel festival 2012
Oslo (NO), Showbox / Black Box Teater 2011
Helsinki (FIN), Baltic Circle festival 2011
Oslo (NO), Ultima festival / Dramatikkens hus 2011
Sound of Freedom has also been touring in Norwegian high schools.