Rotterdam-based musician and designer Rutger Zuydervelt has described Re:Moving (Music for Choreographies by Yin Yue) as ‘an album with a bittersweet taste’. Rutger, aka Machinefabriek, was invited to score two new pieces by award-winning NYC choreographer, Yin Yue. Completed shortly before Covid, it was with regret that the resulting pieces never saw the light of day.
The pieces have never been performed, leaving the music alone in stillness, making it ‘a soundtrack to non-existent dances’. The music should be animating and accompanying the performers, but instead find an empty stage, divorced from what should have been a special union between music and dance.
As time went on, Zuydervelt and Yin Yue both agreed that the music deserved to be heard, even without its intended audience and its parental choreography, choosing to believe in it for what it was, sending it out into the world without its mother and having to rapidly take on a new life, a new form. The score is innocent and beautiful in its own right, but there’s a shadow of what if, and it hangs from every note; the kindness shown in the creative process has been a victim of cruelty beyond its control, gripped, used, and mangled by the pandemic – and the plague nearly killed off the music.
The pair traded videos of choreographic sketches and calls over Skype. A Measurable Existence was the title, and it was originally planned to premiere through New York’s The Gibney Company in April 2020. With some irony, the music was intended to ‘reflect the discovery of self by interaction with others’ – an interaction lost due to enforced social distancing and lockdowns.
It’s about parallel journeys that intersect, repel or collide. The dance doesn’t shy away from drama, and the music doesn’t either
A collaboration between physical movement and musical experimentation, these pieces are both reflective and dynamic, active, advancing, and endlessly moving; one can feel the motion of its performers, even without their physical presence. Skirting between lighter sections and darker, synth-lit alleyways, the music is consistent in its high tempo and higher levels of activity, seamlessly segueing from one segment into the next. As well as its dense textures, the music has a fluidity to it, an unstoppable flow, gentle but very powerful.
With hope, they still look forward to presenting the performance as it was intended. Perhaps, one day, the performance will be complete.