Spider fish observes human interaction behind the net curtains

Sometimes a heart breaks, sometimes a dog barks. With the title of his new theater tour, Spinvis (Erik de Jong) wants to connect the big with the small. He makes his observations from an imaginary flat, represented on stage by moving net curtains that open and close around the six musicians. The title track was played behind closed curtains, representing the distance between people. After the set had opened, a ‘room’ of one of the musicians was sometimes closed off, strikingly enough precisely at times when violinist/brass player Merel Junge or cellist Saartje van Camp played a beautiful solo. An unexpected effect: you listen better to a musician you don’t see.

With seemingly random voicemail messages from lovers talking past each other or just a summary of the composition of mixed nuts in the supermarket, the performance was strung together. Erik de Jong sang a cut-out from old and new work, whereby the theme excluded the fact that the audience favorites ‘Baggagedrager’ and ‘Wasps op de Appeltaart’ were on the playlist. ‘Hello Monday’ and ‘Artis’ showed the versatility of his band. In ‘Not Today’ from Spinvis’ latest album Saartje van Camp played the erhu (Chinese violin), with a sound that to Western ears was prone to false, which caused extra tension.

‘Club Insomnia’ with its penetrating text about ‘eye contact of the loneliest kind’ was interpreted as a shadow play behind the curtains. The new songs ‘Picasso’ and ‘Icarus’ contributed to Spinvis’ unique use of language, in which free association and the poetry of chance are often the guiding principles. It produces music full of empathy, about human contact that can be fleeting at times and profound at other times. The dog that barks and the heart that breaks: they each got their place in a rich, excitingly designed performance.

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