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Still Si Fan Frank Scheffer NL 2021 13

Between Past and Future

Holland Festival 2021

A special evening in collaboration with the Holland Festival and Cinema Delicatessen, focusing on two films by Frank Scheffer. In addition to the documentary Inner Landscape, the evening includes a short live performance by the Chinese musician Wu Wei and the world premiere of Scheffer’s 50-minute opera film Si Fan.

Poster Between Past and Future

In Si Fan (‘Yearnings of Love’), Guo combined the traditional opera of his native region Sichuan with his own music. "I don’t think when composing, I follow my heart", says Guo to Ed Spanjaard, head conductor of the Nieuw Ensemble, who comes to visit him in China to be introduced to the secrets of Sichuan opera.

Shen Tiemei, the star singer of the Sichuan opera, also reflects in this well-rounded film on the differences between East and West, tradition and the modern age.

Inner Landscape is the second part of a tetralogy, the first part of which, Gozaran – Time Passing, about Iranian composer Nader Mashayekhi, premiered in 2011.

On this special evening, the programme includes, in addition to the documentary, the world premiere of Scheffer’s 50-minute opera film Si Fan, and a short live performance by the virtuoso Chinese musician Wu Wei in collaboration with sound engineer Alexis Baskind, undertaking a musical journey through time with music from the Tang dynasty (7th century) to electronic music of the present.

Live performance by Wu Wei, among which worldpremiere No. 0

A Forest of Pipes is a creative surround sound system extending the Sheng, a four thousand years old Chinese bamboo mouth organ. It projects the sound from each of pipes of a modern 37-reed chromatic version of this ancient instrument thanks to an acoustic-electronic surround sound system which will provide a perspective never experienced before to its audience, as it virtually sets the listeners inside the sheng, enclosing them in pipes, immersing them within the sound. No.0 is the first piece for the new "A Forest of Pipes”. It heavily draws inspiration from the theme of the ancient Chinese song Plum Blossoms. Plums are unique in that they blossom in the bitter cold, and this piece aims to capture their beautiful tenacity of life within its melody.

A Forest of Pipes project is supported by TPMC Paris, and it is part of the research project ”Sheng! Project” from Ircam and TPMC.

Global village

Frank Scheffer is acclaimed as a specialist in making inventive and gripping music documentaries that award a major role to associative montage. He has previously made films about such composers as Pierre Boulez and John Cage, a trilogy about Frank Zappa and a film with the musical genius Brian Eno. Frank Scheffer on Inner Landscape: "We must open ourselves to others if we want to have a future in the global village that the world has become."


  • Film: Inner Landscapes (90')

  • Intermission (30')

  • Concert Wu Wei (20')

  • Film: world premiere Si Fan (50')

This is part of



Frank Scheffer

Production year



192 min.





Part of

Holland Festival 2021

This year, Eye puts the spotlight on Ryuichi Sakamoto, one of the associate artists of the Holland Festival 2021. Sakamoto's latest work Time will premiere during the festival, an unconventional wordless opera he made together with visual artist Shiro Takatani. Eye will organise seven accompanying programmes in June focusing on Sakamoto's illustrious career.

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Ryuichi Sakamoto © nss (zakkubalan)
Still Si Fan Frank Scheffer NL 2021 1
Still Si Fan Frank Scheffer NL 2021 7

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