After exploring the conditions of mass culture and entertainment with Velma Superstar, Velma is now focussing on the eternal human obsession: death. Velma has created a requiem which is – like the ancient masses – primarily about survival: survival of the dead person’s soul, of course, yet, the bereaved’s struggle for survival, for immortality becomes vital in this moment.
The musical form of the requiem was regularised in the early 20th century by the Vatican. Velma is not interested in these rules because they may be just or authentic, Velma is fascinated by their rigour. What the Pope intended by this definition was to prevent any formal digression. Music’s only duty therein was to embellish the chants and the prayers. Music could only be decorative. However, it is precisely the formal digression Velma cares about.
Velma hasn’t composed a requiem for somebody or something in particular. There’s no message either. Maybe, creating a ceremony reflects a certain dolour for societal institutions theatre seems to be a last manifestation of. Or is it the mere awareness of death as vital nerve of our existence which motivates this performance? With Requiem, Velma again mixes up the genres and creates a timeless musical ceremony.