Petit Mal: A brief history of a longish piece

On June 16th, my piece Petit Mal, with text by Carolyn Amann, will premiere in Hohenems, Vorarlberg. It’s been a bit of a long and winding road getting here.

Let me tell you a story:

About five years ago, I wrote my dear friends at the Jazzorchester Vorarlberg with the idea of doing a project with literature, because honestly, mixing art forms is often at least as much fun as when they all stay firmly in their lanes. They thought that was a pretty good idea, and put me together with the Vorarlberg-born poet and author Carolyn Amann. Over a few months, we developed a concept and began writing, more or less parallel to one another. There was no real hurry, and a lot of things happened in both of our lives not too long after that, so we took our time. In 2019 I even got a grant from the City of Vienna to help finish it, which – aside from the fact that I have money to live on while working – it gives you a much more concrete deadline. So, around the beginning of 2020, a complete draft of the piece was finished.

Of course, we all know what happened then. However. Now, after a pandemic, 2 or 3 cancellations, a seemingly endless search for venues and financing and Lord knows what-all (I am deeply, deeply indebted to Martin Eberle and the JOV for persevering in this) – impossibly, the finish line is in sight. Petit Mal will be performed in Hohenems on June 16th and performed again on the 25th of June. Also, I made a thing to go with it – check it out:

Video: “Petit Mal” trailer

So if you’re in western Austria in mid-June, I strongly suggest you check it out. It’s a really, really excellent ensemble – people like Martin Eberle and Emily Stewart and Myriam García Fidalgo are going to be playing. The premiere is in a machining facility. It’s going to be quite the experience for everyone.