RED (2018/2019)

music video and cello solo – performance or installation


RED Team:

Sarah Nemtsov – idea, concept, composition

Heinrich Horwitz – concept, dramaturgy, choreography

Carola Schaal – performance

Sonja Lena Schmid – cello

David Campesino and Javier Sobremazas – cinematography


program note by Sarah Nemtsov:

RED for music video and cello solo

In 2015, I read about the London drummer Kiran Gandhi: for a year she had been training for the marathon, on the day of the marathon set her period. She decided against tampon or similar. and ran the marathon – without hiding the bleeding. Her action met with protest and approval and triggered discussions. Of course, this was not the beginning of these discussions and the topic is global – stigma, taboo, marginalization, impurity, period poverty, and recent movements like [hashtag] free bleeding, happy to bleed or padsagainstsexism, as well as scientific education.

The idea for RED haunted me since then – until I finally wrote the piece in October 2018: when I met Carola Schaal and Sonja Lena Schmid from the Decoder Ensemble.

RED: A music video (on my electronic composition) and live (musically interwoven) cello. Woman and cello as an extremely connoted picture. Archaic power of the cello and electronic composition. The glissandi on the cello are visually paradoxical: the lower the hand on the string, the higher the pitch. The version for clarinet was created following the suggestion of Carola Schaal.

Female menstruation in RED is a metaphor for hidden pain – whatever gender, culture, or generation. It’s also about shame and ashamedness. Thus, RED is not only written for or about women, but means much (and many) more. A call for empathy – empathy in the sense of the recognition of the other and recognition of the other’s (and own) pain.
Going through the pain – and thereby becoming stronger. Resilience. Strength. Courage.
RED wants to sensitize, alert, and contribute to empowerment.

RED was created in close collaboration with the artists Heinrich Horwitz, Carola Schaal, Sonja Lena Schmid, David Campesino and Javier Sobremazas, to whom I am deeply grateful.


double premiere June 2019:

WP version for video and clarinet solo: 6.6.2019 at “Schönes Wochenende Festival” in Düsseldorf, program “Bonny Crude” with Carola Schaal, Heinrich Horwitz and Maximiliano Estudies – Carola Schaal, clarinet (and Performance)

WP original version for video and cello solo: 8.6.2019 at “blurred edges Festival” in Hamburg, concert “twisted pairs” Decoder Ensemble – Sonja Lena Schmid, cello


WP installation RED (two screens, two videos in loops) – May 2022 Festival Les Amplitudes, ABC Theatre, La-Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland