When I die, a ghost story with music
Directed, Conceived and Designed by
An old lady is sitting at a piano, half turned away from the audience: she does not play, but from time to time she pushes a teacup off the piano, and it smashes on the floor. The ticking of the clock marks the passage of daily, domestic time – but it is suddenly interrupted by murmurs and whispers surging up from who knows where… Swiss director Thom Luz’ stage is haunted. When I Die is based on an unexplained story of spiritualism: in 1970, a modest English housekeeper, Rosemary Brown, released a disk of unknown works by great, dead composers: Liszt, Schubert, Chopin, Rachmaninoff, Debussy and even John Lennon. Apparently they all dictated, from beyond the grave, works they had not had time to write during their lives. From the story of this medium, Director Thom Luz builds a theatrical and musical performance, with actors and musicians who seem to have emerged from another dimension. A scenery shipping crate creaks open to reveal a clarinetist and a violinist; piano keys play by themselves; funeral stories unfold alongside a presentation of a gestural system of musical notation; and we witness a seance with Albert Einstein. Using magic and apparitions, the theme of When I Die is the inexplicable side of human knowledge – that mysterious something that makes our reality suddenly so poignant and enthralling.