Nachtelijk Symposium

Nachtelijk Symposium (Nocturnal Symposium) is a play by Mesut Arslan’s I did the sound design for. With Nachtelijk Symposium Arslan adapted a 1994 play by Eric De Volder. De Volder describes the Meiresonnes, who are anything but a model family. After years of sweeping everything under the carpet, things start to emerge. Three sons and a mother play out a dramatic sparring match around the ‘family business’ and ‘him upstairs, our dad.’

Mesut places the actors and the text in artist Lawrence Malstaf’s installation of spinning tops. The audience is gathered around an open arena in which not only the tops, but also the characters, start revolving around each other. In this way the director sets the inner identity of a family and the surrounding audience in motion.

‘I do not opt for a classic characterisation of the characters and traditional theatre forms, but for the physical externalisation of what is happening inside the person, and playing with perceptions. The typical Flemish ‘reserve’ produces a circle of atypical emotionality, impotence, pain and betrayal,’ says Mesut Arslan.

For the sound design I miked up the arena of Lawrence Malstaf with 8 contact microphones. The sounds delivered by the microphones are processed and sampled live. Using a surround sound system to play back the sound, this creates an uncanny sync between the actions in the arena and the sounds heard, embedding the play in a powerful bond between visual and sound.

The trailer of the play can be seen here.