Dick van der Harst & Jan Vromman [BE] Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor
Say No! The deserters' song
"Sometime they'll give a war and nobody will come."
– Carl Sandburg
The stories of deserters
By harnessing the stories of deserters, the Brecht-Eislerkoor seizes the opportunity offered by the WW1 commemorations to drive discussions about specific peace strategies. In 2014, it performed the musical theatre production WaanVlucht! (FleeTheFrenzy!) with six Belgian choirs. With Say No, the poet Elvis Peeters and the composer Dick van der Harst once again call upon people to flee from this frenzy. Say no to the madness of war and the misery that it causes!
Inspired by the hymn Say No!, more than 30 choirs and ensembles from across the world have created their own song about conscientious objection and desertion. All the contributed images and sounds form the material for a video creation, intertwined with a live performance by a huge international choir.
• The Brussels-based Brecht-Eislerkoor has brought together large one-off choirs before. It previously performed The Shouting Fence (2009) and WaanVlucht – Ode aan de deserteur (2014) at Kaaitheater.
'Fight for your right to Say No.' - Read an interview with Jan Vromman in Bruzz
initiative Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor | direction, video Jan Vromman | text Elvis Peeters a.o. | music Dick Van der Harst, Wim Koninck, Wim Segers, Lieselot De Wilde | editing Jasper Flikschuh | conducters Lieve Franssen, Peter Spaepen, Dominique Maes | choirs Brussels Brecht-Eislerkoor, Stemmer, Novecanto a.o. | visuals Les Mecs | live animation Laura Vandewynckel | testimonies Javier Garante, Piet Chielens a.o. | in collaboration with De Markten, Vrede vzw | support de Vlaamse Overheid kunsten, Brussels Hoofdstedelijk Gewest, Vlaamse Gemeenschapscommissie, Vlaams beleid voor Brussel, Stad Brussel