In their long-durational improvised performance Left to Tell, Tim Etchells and pianist Marino Formenti collaborate to explore motifs from Beckett’s oeuvre and compositions by Morton Feldman alongside other diverse musical materials. A special role is played by text fragments gathered from the German Diaries, which Beckett wrote during a journey through Germany he began in September 1936. Left to Tell is about moments of isolation and contact, and the perception and experience of time. It creates juxtapositions of language and sounds: disconnected and transformed shards from Beckett’s work are remade in dialogue with Etchells’ original texts and Formenti’s musical gestures, which extend, influence, interrupt and occasionally cancel each other out.
Etchells and Formenti, both known for their durational and improvisational treatment of performance forms, presented their first joint project, Left to Tell, on 15, 17 and 18 February 2018 in different formats live on stage and online. Commissioned by the Volksbühne Berlin, Left to Tell could be experienced in different versions ranging from six hours (online only), 3 minutes, 12 minutes and one hour (presented live and online) and culminated with a nine-hour improvisation (presented live and online).