The Filler is an audio walk around the territory of the former Vilna ghetto and the intermittent turns of memories of the Holocaust. Sonic map of the journey consists of musical fragments specially composed for every space, while the direction of movement is defined by voices of four Holocaust survivors, who have moved from their hometown Vilna to Israel after WWII. Creators of The Filler have recorded their voices during conversations that took place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and Haifa in May 2019.
The sonic document, as a kind of memory artefact, is the pivot of the piece surrounded by musical interpretations of the streets, yards, corridors, apartments, halls and other spaces of the Vilna ghetto. Fragments of interviews heard therein extend beyond the function of a mere verbal narrative – sonic events contained in the recordings suggest themes for choirs or electronic compositions, individual narratives acquire characteristics of arias, the voices are incorporated into soundscapes, becoming full-fledged means of musical expression. Everything is further supplemented by abundant binaural recordings, bringing a sense of reality to sounds heard in the headphones.
This way unique aesthetics of the musical narrative of The Filler is born, turning it into dynamic Gesamtkunstwerk of the present day, where the body of the viewer and its spatial movement also play an important part.
The piece balances between the relocation “back to those times” and the return “to the present”. While investigating the limits of such transfer possibilities (in their own minds first) the creative team does not hide from the fact that the movement takes place in the present day Vilnius – a city that is rapidly changing, is painted and decorated, hidden beneath the construction mesh and, at times, still awaiting the coating of a fresh filler.
Members of the creative team will follow the viewers split into small groups, inviting to take a collective look at what is hidden beneath the filler coating and to contemplate on some major questions: are there limits to the understanding of Holocaust? Where does memory end and imagination begin (if such divide is altogether possible)? How do we recover things that were mostly destroyed during the war, what forms could they take?
In 2020, the creative team behind The Filler have received the Golden Stage Cross award for the best dramaturgy.