Rewilding our minds — Inside each of us is a wild woman, a wild man, or a wild child. That “inner creature” represents a mindset that is characterized by curiosity instead of fear, awareness instead of distraction, and passion instead of apathy. This is your natural birthright, unlearned through social conditioning. As an open and growing society, I believe we need allow this wildness back into our midst.
There is no doubt that nature is an essential ingredient in the human rewilding process. We’ve never met a person who, with increased exposure to nature, doesn’t begin to get ‘addicted’. This ‘addiction’ is really a sort of remembering – a connection with our most essential nature – and it is accompanied by increased awareness of our emotions, our mind activity, our instinctual selves, and of the world around us. Sensual, not intellectual reflection.
Rewilding isn’t about naively glorifying a life in nature and more primitive environments. It does not promote back-to-nature philosophies. It rather is about examining our cultural paradigms, seeing how they affect our physical, mental, and emotional health, and reclaiming the humanness in the human beings.
Humans are physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually amazingly rich and vivid creatures. The answer to our problems is available within our own innate wisdom. The truth is that “rewilding” is more about an inner change, rather than an outer change. We don’t need new gurus or ideas to believe in. What we need is a new positive, constructive spiritualism that will let us act wisely! The crisis of modern human spirituality goes along with the emergence of a powerful new materialism. This modern materialism destroys the order and value of our basic life aspects.
In Ying Wang’s composition “rewilding”, the ensemble starts in the presence – a loud materialistic world where society is hierarchically structured exploiting nature and human slaves. Empty hearts, empty souls filled with greed and envy. This is reflected in a metallic, electronic and harsh sonic environment, a symbol of exploitation, exclusion, loneliness, emptiness.
In the narrative world of the piece more and more people start to think of asceticism, reflect on new values and start with a new spirit to “rewild” the world. The changes in the music are both, gradually and aprubt, new musical ideas and atmosphere, instrumental textures come in and go again. In some moments the music slows down radically and follows the inner desire and external compulsion to change. Like an exploration of the inner self a sound texture is developed and examined in depth. Just to quickly jump back to mutations of confused, shrill, eruptive sounds and loops. Eventually the piece leads to a quiet, yet diverse sound object.
At the end every spectator gets a seed bomb to throw or plant it somewhere outside. Nature is also in the streets of our cities.
Ying Wang & Wolfgang Lehmann – RE:WILDING
RE:WILDING is a joint production of Berlin based composer Ying Wang and Stockholm based filmmaker Wolfgang Lehmann.
Ying Wang has retained an almost childlike joy in mimesis. Her music is quite direct, always revealing itself immediately. It does not hide behind elaborate structures. One can always take it literally. That is what is so refreshing about it. In RE:WILDING, the wildness of the music and images is that of life itself. A wildness of curiosity, not fear. What some deemed uncomfortable because of its uncontrollable nature, becomes a new comfortable normality in her piece. In RE:WILDING, jungle and nature are the utopian “other place”. No Utopia is welcoming at first. All that is new, that is unfamiliar, carries moments of irritation and rejection. Direct exposure to the sounds and images – to the “other” – makes them familiar, until one feels embedded and part of it. Like Mahler in his 3rd symphony, Wang is not mapping any specific nature environments, but rather creates one of her own. In her world whales wander tropical highlands.
Like a sudden weather change, Wolfgang Lehmann’s images appear out of the dark, while the music gradually reaches out into the wild. Material re-appears several times in both music and images. Those repetitions and variations aim for awareness on how its surrounding and one’s own mindset changed since their last appearance. Like a listener who is engaging with the music, Lehmann’s images allow the music to unfold in new paths. By following and articulating associations of his own, the images are leading us to a synthetic experience. Lehmann’s images are observing the musical jungle, they don’t cut into it, nor are they commenting counterpoint to the music. Like Wang’s music, his images, despite their origin, don’t imitate nature, but are aiming as well towards something “other”. They are themselves expression of this free wildness. They pulsate and breathe with the music. And like the music, they don’t need to be deciphered. They are trigger for new associations and memories instead. Ying Wang and Wolfgang Lehmann are not guides through the wildness – they enable the wildness by asking for your associations to grow wildly.
This idea of “Rewilding” isn’t about naively glorifying a life in nature. It does not promote back-to-nature philosophies. It rather is about examining our cultural paradigms of wildness and civilisation, seeing how they affect our physical, mental, and emotional health. The answer to our problems is available within our own innate wisdom – a kind of remembering accompanied by increased awareness of our emotions, our mind activity, our instinctual selves, and of the world around us. Sensual, not intellectual reflection.
RE:WILDING was originally conceived for a live performance and was premiered in Hamburg. The cinema version is a revised version, implementing ideas that were difficult to realize in a live performance but posed no problem in the cinematic version.
Andreas Karl, Ying Wang, Wolfgang Lehmann