a new genre
Drawings, speech bubbles, sounds – the comic concert fuses all these elements together to form a “new genre” (Deutschlandradio Kultur, a German cultural radio station). It combines partly composed, partly improvised musical settings with simultaneous projections of texts and images from comics and graphic novels, creating a synaesthetic experience for the listening and viewing audience.
However the musical element is not just there as a background to the graphic element; both carry equal weight. With this new combination, the composer and pianist Itay Dvori has created a wholly new and independent form of expression, one which is clearly distinct from a musical accompaniment to silent films or comic readings. His concert may resemble an evening at the cinema, but its particular quality is that the “films” allow considerable space, time, and – above all – freedom for the music, for it is the music that determines the tempo and timing of the succession of images. Together with the audience’s individual imaginative input, the musical settings fill the gaps between the comic panels, giving rise to an abstract live animation of images.
Itay Dvori developed the genre of the comic concert by initially setting individual scenes from comics to music as piano miniatures, and later setting whole graphic novels to music. In winter 2016 he formed the yam yabasha ensemble, which dares to try out new improvisation projects. The ensemble premiered with its first programme “Fliegenpapier” (“Fly Paper”), Itay Dvori’s music for Hans Hillmann’s graphic masterpiece of the same name. As a soloist, Itay Dvori has composed music for comics by numerous other international illustrators, such as Edmond Baudoin, Manuele Fior, Asaf Hanuka, Jens Harder, Michel Kichka, Joann Sfar, Shaun Tan and Barbara Yelin. He has performed comic concerts with the ensemble and as a soloist at several music, comic, animation and literary festivals and on various stages across Europe, e.g. at the Internationales Literaturfestival Berlin, the Tel Aviv Animix Festival, the Internationales Trickfilm-Festival Stuttgart, the documenta archiv in Kassel, the Maison de France Berlin, the Poetenfest Erlangen and the Leipziger Buchmesse. Three new programmes will be premiered in 2018, one of them at the 18th International Comic Salon in Erlangen. The comic concerts have had an enthusiastic reception from audiences, press and critics alike.