Institutions of the flesh

Alwynne Pritchard & the Alpaca trio

Photo by Laimonas Pulsys

Institutions of the Flesh is a music-theatre performance that explores relationships between the human voice, our bodies and the social structures in which we live. It's about how each and every breath we take connects us to the institutions of love, labour, devotion and dissent that have shaped human history.

Imagine that in every song we sing, the first human utterance can be heard. Feel the sensation of muscles contracting, a gasp of air being expelled and imagine the thread that connects us right back to the first ever sounds we made – those primeval howls of pain, pleasure, anger, protestation and maybe even love. Then slowly, slowly, slowly these howls, yelps, screams and moans evolved into song.

The kinetic forces that made these songs – this music – happen, are as old as those that brought fish from the oceans. Older, perhaps. The forces that connect a mournful melody to the drawing of horsehair across the gut string of a cello are also present in the soft descent of rainfall, the violent eruption of volcanos and the fragile beating of a bird’s wing. It is present in each and every angel we depict, in our love and fear of gods and demons and even drives our abuse of power and exploitation of the earth.

Everything is motion, everything is connected and everything is collated and organised in the body. The first breath is everything.

Photo by Maria Victoria Høvring Høeg

Photos by  Laimonas Pulsys

Tekst, stemme og koncept: Alwynne Pritchard

Kostymedesigner og syer: Maria Victoria Høvring Høeg
Piano: Else Bø
Violin: Sigrid Stang
Cell: Marianne Baudouin Lie

Alpaca Trio består af Sigrid Elisabeth Stang, Marianne Baudouin Lie og Else Bø, som fremførte Institutions of the Flesh på Cornerteatret i Bergen I 2021 med Alwynne Pritchard.