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How do you merge a human and a musical instrument? Artistic couple Hertog Nadler (Chaja Hertog and Nir Nadler) will show how during Bosch Parade with InstruMen 2.0, a sailing construction featuring musicians playing extravagant instruments with the choreography of their bodies. “It’s a musical hell.”

I can confirm that the cooperation is going very pleasantly and successfully. Hertog Nadler: “The musicians we work with are very enthusiastic, InstruMen 2.0 suits them. It truly is teamwork, for them, that interaction between visual art and music is also very interesting. But it’s not easy, they’re are going to have a tough time. Because what they are attached to are like instruments of torture, in which the musicians will absolutely not be comfortable.”

The fact is that baroque cellist Sasha Agranov and saxophonist Tommie Freke will be fused to their instruments. Duke Nadler: “It’s all about the synergy of body and instrument, the musicians have to use their bodies to make sound. They become one with their instrument – literally, the instruments are a kind of body extensions. Fortunately, they both have experience with circus-style acts and location theatre; they have done the craziest things before. So we rely very much on their input and experience.” 

InstruMen 2.0 arose from an experimental video triptych based on Hieronymus Bosch’s musical hell, with which Chaja graduated from the Gerrit Rietveld Academy. Chaja: “That was very intimate, with a 15-minute composition and hushed moments. InstruMen 2.0 is also based on Bosch but will be much bigger and more theatrical. It will be a performance you can see and hear from afar. With, besides those two musicians, roughly five others in and on the structure, in which, for example, Roya Hes turns and paddles the water wheel. Even Mika, our ten-year-old daughter, will participate.”

Besides the image, the music is also crucial to InstruMen 2.0. Chaja: “Yes, it is very important. We don’t know exactly what it will sound like yet, that depends on the instruments we are going to make in cooperation with theatre maker and scenographer Luca Andrea Stappers, and our consultation with composer Aart Strootman. But it is already clear that it will not be a melodic music that is easy on the ear. It will be a bleak and repetitive piece, which we use to set the mood and build a climax. After all, it’s a musical hell.”