Before Sunrise

A performative work with a musician, dogs and people before sunise, 2015

Commissioned by M+ as part of Yoko Ono Morning Peace 2015, it takes place at 5:13am on June 21, 2015.

Artist Statement:

"A moment to contemplate space between day and night, life and death, now and future, yes and no, known & unknown…

"A few dogs and people around on a rooftop overlooking the harbour at dawn, birds are singing as the most audible sound. When it comes the civil twilight, it hears live flute music adapted from Richard Strauss’ Im Abendrot* (At Sunset).

"Light changes, so does the colour of the sky. The music stops after roughly a quarter hour; the birds’ singing diminishes as we begin to hear cicadas shaking their wings."


*Created in 1948 after a poem with the same title by Joseph von Eichendorff, as one of his Four Last Songs when Richard Strauss foresaw the end of his own life a year later.



Im Abendrot (At Sunset)

Through misery and pleasure,
We wandered hand in hand;
And now we take our leisure,
Above the tranquil land.

Ringed by valleys leaning o’er,
The air to darkness bent;
Just two skylarks upwards soar,
Day-dreaming in the scent.

Come and let them whirl away,
It’s time for us to sleep;
Lest we err and go astray
In solitude this deep.

Vast and silent stillness fired
With sunset red the breadth!
How can we feel so tired?
Can this perhaps be death?

(Translated by Richard Gardner)