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Coffee or Die

In the spring of 2022 Mathias was commissioned to compose music for a contemporary dance performance by choreographers and dancers Helene Düring Kjær (DK), Oda Emilie Skogen Ellefsen (NO) and Jøran Ravndal (NO). "Coffee or Die" premiered with three performances in Stavanger in august of 2022, and another in Porsgrunn a week later. The piece is set in a café with waiters serving the audience. At first glance everything seems ordinary, but slowly the veil is lifted and the scene descends into chaos. The café theme called for a dive into muzak and its traditions. The music that ended up consisting of 16 songs lasting the entire performance of one and a half hours, reflects the waiters state of mind as they slowly remove their masks and dive into the dark unknown. The performance is inspired by the ideas of the writer and philosopher Albert Camus, and one quote in particular seems to reveal the core idea of the project.

“Should I kill myself, or have a cup of coffee? But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself”


- Albert Camus



Created by dancers and choreographers Oda Ellefsen, Jøran Ravndal & Helene Düring Kjær
Composer - Mathias Hagen
Costume designer - Victoria Heggelund
Outer Eye: Anne-Sophie Erichsen, Sarka Benedova


Check out our project page for more!

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Thank you to Stavanger Kommune, Fond for Lyd og Bilde, Rogaland Fylkeskommune, Porgrunn Kommune and FFUK for supporting the project!

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