A Remix of Hamlet
From Shakespeare’s Hamlet to a new rewriting of this myth
In 2012, our company was involved in a work of reappropriation and created a variation of Hamlet, based on Shakespeare’s work and the many variations that have resulted from it. Our rewriting revealed the successive layers of writing that have been superimposed on that of Shakespeare and that constantly reshape this myth. This creation entitled ‘Hamlet or the party during the plague’ took place at the Manufacture, CDN in Nancy.
In 2022 – 10 years later – we want to wipe the slate clean and create a new remix of this myth in a completely new digital device. We promised ourselves that we would put this masterpiece back on the table every ten years. Hamlet dies asking that his story be told, that it be reinvested by each generation, that his memory be perpetuated. He entrusts his friend Horatio with the task of keeping alive the memory of his struggles and his renunciations, of passing it on through the generations, each of which will take it in turn, reinvented, remixed, transformed. We wish to re-embrace this story which belongs to our European and world heritage.
In this remix of Hamlet, we want to isolate and highlight the characters of the younger generation: Hamlet and his friend Horatio; Ophelia and her brother Laertes; and the Crown Prince Fortinbras. These characters will be present on stage, performed by live actors. Using headphones, their live voices will be mixed with other recorded voices, those of the other characters in our story, the characters of the older generation. The spectator will never see these other characters, but their voices will resound in their ears like ever-present ghosts.
A remix with headphones and binaural sound: the spectators in the middle of the ghosts
Wearing headphones, the spectator is immersed in binaural sound in the midst of these ghosts of the past. Binaural sound is a recording method that seeks to reproduce a sound as similar as possible to a natural sound scene. This technique provides an extremely realistic experience, a surprising illusion. This immersive device plunges the viewer into the middle of King Claudius’ court and its dramas. The ghost of the murdered King walks around behind the spectator’s neck, behind his back, as if in the hollow of his ear, as close as possible to his perception.
Musical composition: André Mergenthaler between the ghosts
Between the characters of the younger generation on stage and those of the older generation present in the recordings, André Mergenthaler navigates between these two spaces, these two temporalities. On stage and in the headphones, he will be in turn a musician at the service of the ghost of the murdered king, a jester of the present king and a spectral presence himself.