De Levende Stoel (2013)

  • Category: Mélodrame (65') for string quintett, idiophones and two narrators
  • Context: Co-production OP STAPEL vzw and Theater Tinnenpot
  • Premiere: 15 December, 2013 Theater Tinnenpot Gent BE, total of 10 performances
  • Musicians: Femke Sonnen & Inge Walraet violin, Traudi Helmberger alto, Greet Gils cello, Dirk van Gorp double bass and percussion
  • Narrators: Ilse De Rauw & Guido Vanderauwera
  • Director: Jo Decaluwé
  • Project URL:
  • Youtube

I adapted a short story “The Living Chair” (1925) by the Japanese writer Taro Hirai (1894-1965),
better known by his pseudonym Edogawa Rampo.
This resulted in a story for two actors (a man and a woman) and a string quintet.
The direct confrontation with the psychology of the characters and their dream world, reflected in the music.

"Dear Madam, the moment you read this letter my life will cease to exist. My life.
A life that mainly took place in the dark. A sad life maybe ... I don't know. For me it was the only way.
And now, now I have one last request: that you read this letter to the end. It's an admission of guilt.
The thought that you would never have known I existed is unbearable for me. So Madam, are you reading this letter .... ”

"The Living Chair" is about what happens when a cabinetmaker makes the chair of his life.
It's about lovers who will never meet, but will know each other better than anyone else in the world.
The chair is the key to their love, to intense happiness and comfort, but also the cause of deep misery.
Death seems to be the only way out.

Love, beauty and ugliness, deceit, desire, a pinch of eroticism, mystery, death ...
A mysterious world opens up to us. The letter and diary entries are left as the only silent witnesses of their love.