Lena Willikens and Sarah Szczesny have announced a limited release of their improvised audiovisual drama score, Phantom Kino Ballett.
Set for release on September 19th via RVNG Intl, the audiovisual drama’s soundtrack is the latest installment of the interdisciplinary Commend See series. It follows previous releases from Melanie Velarde, 7FO and RAMZi.
Willikens and Szczesny’s Phantom Kino Ballett was initially conceived as an improvised live score performed back in September of 2016 at RVNG Intl’s retail and community space, Commend. The project continued into the following year with the pair taking up a residency in Kyoto, Japan in the autumn. Now, Phantom Kino Ballet’s soundtrack will be released with a limited vinyl edition and on cassette. The release contains two alternate takes on the experimental, improvised performance. The cassette edition also includes a 40-minute addendum called ‘Passage Transkript’ recorded by Willikens and Szczesny.
In a performance or installation space, Phantom Kino Ballet fuses assembled visual clips, selected sonic backdrops and costume to create a ghostly, hallucinatory experience.
The night of the soundtrack’s release, RVNG and Commend will present a live iteration of the project at the Issue Project Room in Brooklyn, NY alongside a performance by Issue’s Artist-In-Residence Jules Gimbrone.
“How Sarah and I worked together was something neither of us had experienced before,” Willikens told DJ Mag during an in-depth interview back in March. “It was like a rework of ideas, like a constantly morphing cabinet of curiosities where we’d both bring in everything that we were fans of that we just wanted to show to people. That energy was so important.”
All proceeds from the release will be donated to agisra, a non-profit organization advocating on behalf of migrant women and against sexual and racist violence. agisra is based in Cologne, Germany, and was chosen by Willikens and Szczesny.
You can see the trailer for ‘Phantom Kino Ballet’ below.
Lena Willikens joins a stacked line-up including Eris Drew, Helena Hauff and Object Blue at Berlin Atonal this month.
Photo credit: Thomas Venker