Fly Paper

Comic Concert by Itay Dvori and the yam yabasha ensemble


Live impressions from the Premiere of “Fliegenpapier” on 21 April 2016 at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin
Film: Masayuki Carvalho

Official Trailer to the Graphic Novel “Fliegenpapier"
(Publisher: avant-verlag)
Music and Montage: Itay Dvori


The yam yabasha ensemble’s first project is a musical setting for the whole of the graphic novel Fliegenpapier (Fly Paper) by Hans Hillmann, created between 1975 and 1982. The significance of this seminal work, which, in its time, anticipated the rise of the graphic novel, was re-discovered when avant-verlag published a new edition in 2015. The concert was premiered on 21.04.2016 at the Literarisches Colloquium Berlin in cooperation with avant-verlag. Further concerts took place at music, literature, comic and film festivals and on various stages, e.g. the Internationales Trickfilm-Festival Stuttgart, the Poetenfest Erlangen, the Kulturfestspiele Schlösser und Gärten der Mark and the documenta archiv in Kassel.

Hillmann’s work draws on Dashiell Hammett’s 1929 detective story Fly Paper, set in San Francisco during the Great Depression. The plot begins with the search for a daughter from a wealthy family who has become involved with gangsters, and quickly develops into a murder case. Hillmann, one of the most important German graphic artists of the post-war period, masterfully captures the mood of the literary model – which was scaled back to short paragraphs – with precision and often in surprising ways, in black and white contrasts and unusual perspectives reminiscent of camera angles. It is also precisely because of this that the work lends itself in particular to a musical dimension in addition to the visual interpretation. 

The graphic novel is divided into five “acts”, as is the composition. The instrumentation is derived from the temporal setting and the atmosphere of the plot: jazz quartet: saxophone, piano, double bass, drums and reading by an actor. The music is performed with projections of images from the graphic novel. The composition incorporates stylistic elements with strong reference to the jazz music aesthetic of the 1920s/30s in North America. Particular scenes in the piece are composed; other scenes leave room for improvisation and solos. Music, images and texts are combined in such a way that they sometimes interconnect like mosaics and sometimes overlap with one another.

The members of the yam yabasha ensemble who contribute to the Fliegenpapier programme are:

Raphael Clamer – speaker

Uwe Steinmetz – saxophone

Itay Dvori – piano, composition

Marcel Krömker – double bass

Javier Reyes – drums

Photo: Georg Pöhlein

Photo: Georg Pöhlein