Demands expressed or supported by music
Many demands are intellectual defined since a long time. But for a change it is absolute necessary to reach also the heart of people and here music can help a lot.
Group of young interested people, who are open for an anusual way to perform; IMPORTANT: they don’t have to be “musicians” (able to play an instrument)
Number of participants
Min: 8 Max: 15 young participants, 1 – 2 trainers
A performance like this is more suitable for an indoor performance. Because the sound of instruments is not so effective in a big open space (outdoor)
All instruments, which are easy to play and effective. Especially all instruments of the percussion section: claves, drums, triangle, cymbals, rainmaker, agogo etc. try also self-made instruments made of trash for example or also things of daily life: a chair, a pot
The aim is to illustrate or support political demands with music and reach the audience on an emotional level. If there is a concerned silence in the audience at the end instead of a relaxed clapped applause: then this performance was really good.
Step by step instructions
Together with the group choose the demands you want to work on. It can be a broader topic (like climate crisis) with 2-3 clear demands. If you have worked on demands before, you can take them or you can work on creating demands with one of the other methods proposed in the toolbox (like the method “Raise your demands!”).
Think of how it is possible to illustrate those demands with music, bodies, voices etc. and try out different scenarios. The group should brainstorm on how the can show their main topic and how they could make the audience understand also their main demands.
The group can experiment and try out different instruments in order to highlight their demands. In small groups they work on the elaboration of one scene, which is feedbacked by the whole group.
When several scenes are elaborated to the satisfaction of the group, the whole scneario is put together.
The following example was elaborated and performed by an international group of young people. The group chose the topic “environment”. They wanted to desribe the fatal developement of nature. The following gives you an idea for your dramaturgy:
1) Nature is intact
Musicians walk around playing their instruments in a soft, friendly way, smiling, looking to the audience.
2) Change of expression
The participant with cymbals goes near to each musician, looking him/her into his/her eyes, smashing the cymbals hard and at this moment the musician changes the way to play into a rough/hard way.
That could descibe the moment, when men break into nature with the aim to “civilize” it.
The participant with cymbals is rubbing the cymbals while the participant with a big drum is scratching on the drum (sawing a tree), smashing the cymbals and at the same time beating the drum hard: then a musician throws his/her instrument away (trees are falling down).
3) Dying nature:
Two musicians with wooden block drums: tick tock… become quieter.. (that means nature is dying). After this, there is a moment of total silence (requiem for a dead piece of land).
4) Building a factory at the place of nature
The musicians play their instruments in an unfriendly, in itself very rhythmical way, all musicians stomp with their feet.
With one loud bash of the cymbals!
Tips for the trainer
Look for other groups (dancinggroups, theatregroups…) working on this topic or invite them to a cooperation: each partner can benefit enormously of a joint performance.
Please make sure, that you invite “decision-makers” (parlamentarians…) to the performance. It is usually very hard work, since they have a tight schedule. Therefore start early and be persistent!
Any other comment
Encourage people to find their own story, to be imaginative!
This is a good exercise when you already have worked on political demands with a group and you want to transfer them in an artistic performance.