Pantha du Prince The Orchestra of Forgotten Skills, performance

Hendrik Weber aka Pantha du Prince made a research during his residency time and established various collaborative processes which resulted in a row of workshops and performances taking place during the residency and the public program in Tulum, Mexico.

Redeveloping his living space into a music studio and working on a long term project The Conference of the Trees during his research Hendrik was initially interested in the different kinds of wood which are used for the Mayan instruments. With maestro Jose, a wisdom keeper of the Mayan rituals and a specialist of the prehispanic music instruments Hendrik worked on the wood block percussion, Tun Kul which he carved under the supervision of the maestro.

Together with the Tulum based organisation La Esquina, who works with the local children from Tulum, Weber and Maestro Jose organised a special workshop, where children were given lessons in producing and playing different percussion instruments.

For the AKI AORA Public Program 2018 Hendrik developed an installation and a special performance Orchestra of forgotten Skills. The choreography of the sounds was initially inspired by the colors used by Mayans to define the four directions of the world: the red for the East, the black for the West, the yellow for the South and the white for the North, which represents the Sun Circle with the blue color in the middle, which is the fusion of  all the directions.

The music narration was composed out of eight parts: basic tone, transition, water, air, earth, fire, epilog and final. The basic tone was performed by Hendrik Weber on the Russian singing bells, in the transition he was joint by all the musicians and followed by a call of the spirits of the four directions by Maestro Jose. For the four elements the musicians had a different individual rhythm for each as an ensemble together, which created the foundation for the intuitive musical interaction. In the epilog maestro Jose was explaining the meaning of the relations between the Mayan mathematics, the star constellations and why all the participating musicians were marked with a certain magic number 13, which was a group unifying symbol and added to another magic number 52. In the final all the elements meet, increase intensity and dissolve into a transcendent space for everyone in the room.

Through performing the Orchestra of Forgotten Skills by embodying each element in forms of rhythm and sound we return again to the basic human existential questions of meaning and relation.