The main goal with the artistic research informing this exposition has not been to test an artistic concept as such. Rather, the primary goal has been to flesh out a process interrupted and recalled so that artistic efforts and reflections are brought to light. And rehearsals can be rituals in themselves.

The empty shop store at Brogatan 24 in Halmstad before the rehearsals of Chronos’ Bank of Memories began in 2022. Photo by Hedvig Jalhed.

Closing the circle

On 25 August 2022, the ensemble restarted the rehearsals of the revived production Chronos’ Bank of Memories in an empty shop store at Brogatan 24 in Halmstad. The venue had previously been a shoe shop.


The cast and ensemble members had partly changed due to the break, and this meant that some came into the production without knowledge about what had been tried, negotiated, and presented during the first period. In our role-playing inspired concepts, we work with characters that are not reset from performance to performance, and when we came back after the pandemic, there were performers without memories of what their character had been through in earlier performances. In order to get into and unite around the imagined world of the memory bank and the track record of the characters, a lot of time was spent on communal discussions and story-telling.

We know from experience that rehearsals are very much about breaking down the material to particulars in order to be able to put everything together in a controlled way. Rehearsals make us predictable for each other, as we reveal our strengths and weaknesses. We think that this is the reason why privacy is so important for rehearsals before a group of performers take their program into public space.


A theatrical performance can be compared to an iceberg. Backstage, we hide props and gear, personal belongings and lucky charms, but also all the hours of rehearsal, conflict, administration, and waiting. To prepare for artistic performance is a refining process of suppressing and concealing what we are like when relaxed and private. With preparation, we can act, not as we do in the moment, but how we like to be perceived in a particular situation by others – by strangers. Collective performance – in art or in sport – requires a space where we are not perceived by the public until we have gotten to know each other first, have established an in-group signal system and been synchronized a sufficient number of times. For this reason, rituals in the simplest forms bring us together by means of rehearsals. However, no recurring personal rituals in terms of physical training, superstitious practices, warming-up routines and so on were found in the ensemble.

Although we do not speak for the whole group working with Chronos’ Bank of Memories, our vantage point as artistic collaborators in this project has been to use different kinds of distortion when merging layers of information in an operatic manner. Within the art work, information has been deliberately obscured rather than clarified. It is our view that humans themselves can be seen as distorting factors when rendering distinct graphical information such as written text and sheet music.

However, we dont subscribe to the idea that artistic performance is the interpretation of plays (understood as texts), but endorse the conclusion that musical and theatrical performance is the execution of source material by means of its filtering though different porous and spongy entities. Using ourselves as such filters, this is in line with the multiplist view of performance, that is, the view that any play will give rise to an indefinite number of mutually incompatible but equally valid performance choices.1 The choices and options each member of the ensemble brings to the table frame the upcoming performance. In a collective process such as the one in Chronos’ Bank of Memories, the additive filtering of input from one source/author through another generates output that is artistically distorted.

As mentioned on the introduction page, Chronos’ Bank of Memories is a so called puzzle opera. That means that it is broken up into different parts which are separated in time, place, and media. This feature was also embedded into the musical material, which was “cracked up” (as the composer Mattias Petersson puts it) in a number of ways. While the composition made a former unity scattered and divided, the main character was instructed to sing with “ghost vowels” – intermediate vowel sounds between words – as if trying to glue the broken plot together phonetically. This is the sound of remembering, as the voice tells the listener to please not interrupt but to keep listening while dismembered pieces of information fall into place.

Qarin Wikström during the rehersals of Chronos’ Bank of Memories in Halmstad 2022. Photo by Hedvig Jalhed.

References on this page:


Saltz, David Z. What Theatrical Performance Is (Not): The Interpretation Fallacy”. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 59, nr 3 (2001): 299–306.