During WWTBD – What Would Thomas Bernhard Do, the tenor Erik Leidal will intervene periodically between the events of the program. His recurring appearances can be compared to the pulse of a metronome, and function as a gesture sensually connecting the sometimes very disparate topics that follow each other. Furthermore, as Leidal will be in the audience rather than on stage during the events, he also functions as a barometer that responds to the moods and atmosphere of the audience, sublimates it, and audibly responds. Drawing from various musical traditions from the Middle Ages to the present, Leidal fashions himself as a contemporary troubadour. A collage of old and new confronts the ear in a jazz/hip-hop vein to embellish Leidal’s historically-informed vocal style. Together with David Gross, Martin Kratochwil, Markus Oberndorfer, Jean Philipp Oliver Viol, and Erich Zawinul (five music makers from different backgrounds that include classical, jazz, pop and electronica), Leidal unites old and new to form an unusual sonic basis for melodic improvisation. Sources of inspiration include the songs of the 12th century troubadour Bernart de Ventadorn, and the early 14th century poem “Roman de Fauvel” by Gervais de Bus – a political satire about the French court’s corruption.
Erik Leidal (*1971) is a tenor and musicologist. He has lived and worked in Vienna since 2002. Leidal is a soloist, director of various music ensembles, and a stage actor. He contributed, together with “Ensemble vivante”, to a CD-Edition entitled “Alte Musik” for the ORF.