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Nighthawks 5+

Sound journey through the night

Peter Kus and Tery Žeželj / Co-producers werk89, Vienna, and Kuskus Institute / 45 min

In our lives, we are constantly exposed to sounds. These are not only the sounds of the natural environment but above all the sounds of civilisation: the rumble of traffic, the rattle of machines and factories, voices, cries, and constant music that comes from the speakers. Ears do not have lids and cannot be closed. We cannot just turn away when we do not want to hear something as we can do when we do not want to see something. So, we are constantly exposed to the noisiness of our environment.

We get used to everyday noise. Eventually, we only respond to sounds that are (too) loud for us. Our hearing is awakened from the dullness by the silence as we become alert to the sounds coming from the silence. This happens at night when the city life slows down, silent sounds in the dark sound like mighty, and the ordinary sounds become eerie.

In such a situation, familiar to all of us, finds herself girl Tonka when going to bed in the evening. Terrified of the invisible nocturnal sounds, that she does not recognise and thinks they are burglars, she calls her mom and dad. They try to make her understand that what she hears are just ordinary sounds.  She only has to imagine how each sound is created and she will no longer be afraid. But Tonka does not dare to close her eyes and cannot imagine the origin of the individual sounds, so her mother tries to explain the sonic world to her with the help of an instructive fairy tale of Miss Cacophony. Miss Cacophony is a mythical sound monster, as old as the world, that combines all the known and unknown sounds, sends them into the world, and controls them. When Miss Cacophony falls asleep, some of the sounds slip away and come to life in the dark night. The image of Miss Cacophony immediately ignites Tonka's curiosity. Each of the nocturnal sounds now presents a different sound monster. All of a sudden, her room is full of strange sound creatures, Nighthawks. She gets to know them, makes music with them, and discovers new music worlds. Thus, in the midst of an inarticulate cacophony in which we are forced to live, Tonka creates her sound environment. A frightened child becomes a creative and independent girl. With her determination, she shows us how valuable the sonic world is for our personal growth and how, through active and creative listening, we can also discover the essence of ourselves and our existence. The sonic violence of the modern world cannot be avoided by escaping from the world of sounds and civilisation (such a solution is impractical, if not impossible), but we can avoid it by finding the right sound, our music and the meaning in the cacophony of the world around us. In this way, each of us can find in the midst of this cacophony his or her own inner balance and his or her own silence.

[Peter Kus, Tery Žeželj]


Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>
Nighthawks <em>Photo: Boštjan Lah</em>

Crew and cast

Director, composer and author of original musical instruments Peter Kus

Visual designer Gregor Lorenci

Performers Urška Cvetko, Miha Bezeljak, Elena Volpi and Michael A. Pöllmann

Dramaturge Tery Žeželj

Speech advisor Metka Damjan

Choreographer Alicia Ocadiz

Costume designer Iztok Hrga

Lighting designer Borut Bučinel

Assistant lighting designer and lighting technician Gašper Bohinec

Sound engineer Jure Auguštiner

Puppet designers Gregor Lorenci and Taeko Yoshida

Set makers Lucijan Jošt, Primož Mihevc, Peter Kus, Aleš Kuzma and Igor Vidovič

Costume manufacturers Mojca Bernjak, Nina Šabeder and Iztok Hrga

Premiere — 30. January 2020

On tour abroad

4. October 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

3. October 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

2. October 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

1. October 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

13. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

12. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

11. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

10. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

9. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

8. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

7. February 2020
Dschungel, Vienna, Austria

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