Necromancy for Beginners
Necromancy for Beginners is a new multimedia music theater led by Studio M.A.R.S. and composer Piyawat Louilarppasert, in collaboration with Thailand Music and Art Organization (TMAO) and Taceti Ensemble.
In both Asian and European storytelling traditions, the stories of spirits, ghosts and other worldly beings hold a strong importance in their culture. These stories, now often forgotten in the narratives of the contemporary world, will be re-explored and retold in a new immersive multimedia music project. Necromancy for Beginners takes the audience on a journey between the worlds of the living and the non-living. Proposed as a part concert, part seance, part artificial reality, part storytelling, Necromancy for Beginners aims to create a new work that blends the traditional with the modern, and explores how the digital realm can be seen as a metaphor for the spiritual realm and vice versa.
A series of ritualistic seances are performed by a group of musicians. These rituals are inspired by the ten rituals of “Khon reīyk p̄ hī” (คนเรียกผี) from Thai culture, ways that have deep similarities to European traditions of Necromancy. Each scene is designed to evoke the spirit of one ghost, mediated through a series of performative actions and narrative stories that are based upon characteristics of that ghost. Each ghost is taken from either local Thai stories like Kuman Thong, Hun Phayon, Khwai Thanu Nang Tani, Phi Am.
In a new digital staged environment created by Studio M.A.R.S., Dr. Marcus Doering PMD-ART, and visual artist Kittiphun Janbuala and Thanapat Ogaslert, a fully interactive video mapped space becomes the playground for this exciting new hybrid work, that blends music performance, ritual and theater. With its distinctive music language and performance, it aims to break down boundaries between humans and spirits, real and surreal.
Necromancy for Beginners received support from the Goethe Institut International Coproduction Fund and made its premiere as the main program of the INTACT Festival from December 20th to 25th, 2022 at the Bangkok Art and Culture Center.