Prayers of Incompetence

Every night I make love with the impossible.

Prayers of Incompetence is a kaleidoscopic performance for an automated hyper organ, five voices and electronics. I am creating within the company I/O, working together with Danai Belosinof (artistic and production assistance) and Clare Gallagher (sound). Andriana Minou has written a collection of texts on praying, from which about half are used in the performance. The audience will receive a prayer book designed by Michalis Paraskakis.

Prayers of Incompetence rehearsals-6205Prayers of Incompetence rehearsals-6110

I have been working endless hours in the Orgelpark. It’s the only way to understand how their new instrument works and to explore what it can do. A hyper organ that uses SINUA – a new software and hardware system to give new control possibilities, either through its special console or a computer. The Orgelpark has over six organs in its hall. For this performance I’m focusing on the Utopa Baroque organ, in parts blending it with the romantic Sauer organ.

The four wonderful singers who help me create this performance are Sterre Konijn, Björk Níelsdóttir and Arnout Lems. I’m the fifth singer. We have been trying vocal ideas, colours, ways to combine the voice with the organ and ways to use the texts, in a very compact, as well spread out time-schedule. In June 2019 we had a get-to-know meeting, with a rehearsal in October 2019 and a second one in January 2020. Two more rehearsals followed in February 2020, with the final three taking place in March before the performance day. All took place in the Orgelpark.

Prayers of Incompetence rehearsals-6153

Next to working with the singers and the rest of the team, I have been visiting regularly the hall since August 2019, usually in the evenings (sometimes till 03:00 in the morning) to test ideas and program the organ. Working with an organist might have been a much easier process, but I must say some of the results someone can achieve with the computer are quite unique and spectacular. The fact that the sound is always analogue is a great satisfaction; it always feels tangible. It’s such a physical approach to sound, while having an extraordinary amount of control on its properties.

Thanasis Deligiannis | composition & voice
Andriana Minou | texts & dramaturgy
Sterre Konijn, Arnout Lems, Björk Níelsdóttir, Laura Polence | voice
Danai Belosinof | artistic & production assistance
Clare Gallagher | sound
Trevor Grahl | organ advisor

Special thanks to Marko Ivic and Boris Bezemer.

Orgelpark, 7 March 20:15 & 21:45
Tickets at
Photos by Marko Ivic


About Thanasis Deligiannis

Composer | Performer | Stage director

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