Bad Weather is a performative sound art event of a group of performers engaging with reconstructions of Baroque theater noise machines. The project started in 2017 when Lithuanian artist Arturas Bumšteinas teamed up with theater carpenter Ernestas Volodzka to re-create wind, rain, sea and thunder imitation devices, identical to the ones whose canon settled in European theater in the 17th century.
Commissioned and produced by contemporary music theater production house Operomanija, Bad Weather events have since been presented in Lithuania and Poland. During each performance, the ensemble plays the machines in keeping with meteorological maps and charts from various centuries that serve as scores.
Contemporary artist Ivan Cheng was invited to write and perform a libretto that is integrated into every performance in different ways. In the Baroque era, the noise machines constituted only a small part of the theatrical illusion, lurking behind the scenes, invisible to the audience. Meanwhile in Bad Weather, they take the spotlight and become generators of conceptual climate.
Bad Weather Long Play is a collage of sound materials from performances, rehearsals, soundchecks and other occasions related to the project, as documented with various recording devices between 2017 and 2019. The sides of the LP don't function as A and B sides but can be played in any order. The LP is presented in a full-color sleeve with a printed inner sleeve containing photos of the various stages of the project and liner notes by Salomé Voegelin. An included 8-page booklet reproduces Ivan Cheng's libretto.
"Produced from a selection of recordings made at rehearsals, workshops and performances with an alternating team of seven performers, Bumšteinas convokes a work that sounds its process on the mobile blueprint of meteorological maps as scores. Creating a mis-en-scène of invisible occurrences that talk with each other in the language of a storm that is brewing, raising and petering out, and that leaves a trace in our ears, an imprint and a movement that might only clear the next day." - from the liner notes by Salomé Voegelin
Arturas Bumšteinas (b. 1982 in Vilnius, Lithuania) is an artist working within the intersections of sound, music and art. His practices include performative sound art, radio art, exhibitions, experimental acoustic and electronic music. He started exploring theater noise machines in 2012 when he was commissioned by Deutschlandradio Kultur to compose Epiloghi. Six Ways of Saying Zangtumbtumb.