In his libertine novel The Five, A.H.J. Dautzenberg explores the freedom of expression in the current era, and in particular the position that art occupies in that discourse. Composer/videomaker Merijn Bisschops transforms the complex structure, tension, characters and style choices of the book into a stand-alone concert experience. Electric guitar quartet Zwerm performs the music together with drummer Karen Willems. A dance video with the music completes the concert experience.
“The Five is based on a compelling piece of literature that has made me think, doubt and inspire me in countless ways. The book opens an inevitable discussion about what can or cannot be said, written or shown in this day and age. I will contribute to the discourse from my artistic vision, by making the urgency I feel when reading this novel audible and visible. This is accompanied by a deeply felt need to tap into sources within myself that I have not previously allowed so unlimitedly in my work. At first hearing, The Five becomes a brutal piece of music with influences of drone doom, metal and indie rock, but just as the book has several layers to peel back, beneath that rough exterior lies my characteristic rich emotional inner world, instrumental refinement and challenging microtonality. By making a combination with an alienating dance video, I want to offer the audience an overwhelming experience that will last.”
A.H.J. Dautzenberg is a committed and controversial writer. In his work he shows time and again that he feels the pulse of the times, such as with the initiative of the glossy Quiet 500, with which he gave a face to the silent poverty in the Netherlands. We live in a time when we have to be very careful about how we express ourselves, how we use language. In his new great libertine novel, Dautzenberg explores freedom of expression in times of the woke movement. Four teenagers share a devilish drive for sex and violence. The girls take advantage of their victims and pulverize the boundaries of current morality. At the same time, they try to free themselves from the male gaze that drives them – or is there another force at play? The reader is drawn into an addictive story that cannot actually stand the light of day.