Mono composition for Silent Green,Vorspiel CTM, January 2022
Falling dust, descending in transformation. Sensation, as a continuum, is split by crackling voices. Repetition. Exhaustion of the body/voice/matter to bring the affections into the heterogeneity of human time, into our memories, while simultaneously positioning ourselves in a horizontal dimension. Coexisting in dissonant movements. The sensorium is activated by the oscillation of cavernous frequencies, sliding into the realm of Euryale.
What do we do with the little pieces? Place them into an Urn, spread them into the ground, soil for memories and renewal.
We consent to the ritualism of presence. Nothing more, nothing else.
I started this research having a lot of accumulated experience. Sensing a lot, being a lot. As a performer, I refuse to compartmentalize art/life and I find beauty in it. In this sense, I constantly observe and listen to the movement between these poles, inhabiting them. This life/death binary node has been also present not strongly in my life but also in Silent Green. As an old crematorium holds a history of intensity and fragmentation. Literally the processing/transformation of bodies. Body as a physical block of rawness but also as a vector of memories and dense sensitive matter and emergency. Beyond the orchestrated grieve of Christian ritualism, the first crematorium in Berlin but in Germany opens the question regarding the administration of death. What does it mean to be able to decide how to process the body? Technologies of death but also the return of old ritualism of grieving. Technical fire, performative fire. On the other hand, cremation as an economic matter in Germany. The economy of the ashes and urns. Nowadays Corpse Tourism and Cremation Tourism.
What does it say about the space itself?
Home for several cultural projects now, Silent Green is a maze full of chambers and resonance zones. Full of statues referencing other times. The more you see them the more pagan/heretic they become. An iconography that captured my attention of course. Chimaeras, plants, lions, cherubs, a central feminine stoic figure holding a vessel, facing us with severity but acceptance.
How do we grieve? How do we process an intense block of emotions?
Defragment, transform, turn them into memories…
The voice appears in grief as a conductor of this movement, mourning as a physical transformation of pain. Death is a base for the living movement of the voice raising from it. Technic changing the relationship with it. Technic of the bodies and technic of the voice.
Regarding technics of relating with Sound, I will like to point out the classical origin of the music quotation by Murray Schaffer in the introduction of his book “The soundscape: our sonic environment and the tuning of the world” mentions:
There are two basic ideas of what music is or ought to be. They may be seen most clearly in two Greek myths dealing with the origin of music. Pindar’s twelfth Pythian Ode tells how the art of aulos playing was invented by Athena when, after the beheading of Medusa, she was touched by the heart-rending cries of Medusa’s sisters and created a special nomos in their honour. In a Homeric hymn to Hermes an alternative origin is mentioned. The lyre is said to have been invented by Hermes when he suqnised that the shell of the turtle, if used as a body of resonance, could produce sound.
In the first of these myths music arises as subjective emotion; in the second it arises with the discovery of sonic properties in the materials of the universe. These are the cornerstones on which all subsequent theories of music are founded. Characteristically the .lyre is the instrument of Homer, of the epos, of serene contemplation of the universe; while the aulos (the reed oboe) is the instrument of exaltation and tragedy, the instrument of the dithyramb and of drama. (6)
In the end, technic, tekné, is a way of relating, a certain form of practice, performative practice. Are rituals technics of dreams, memory and sensitivity? I refuse to think of Euryale’s grief over Medusa’s beheading as pure subjective emotion. Isn’t art the tekné of sensitivities? The validation of them beyond whatever normative norms are imposed on the experience? Beyond the binary mind and body? Art as the refusal of the distribution of normative subjectivity. There is tekné in grief…
How did I/we work…
As a suggestion of Kirstine Kjeldsen, we decided to record on a descending ramp in Silent Green. A transitory space. The idea of dissension and falling grains, dust or ashes was present in both of our imaginaries. Also working with voice.
By my side, I collected rocks and stones from the nearby area and then recorded falling through the ramp. I carry them into the top of the ramp, draw a pattern that held by rock pile and then slowly trowed them through it. The rocks provided certain rhythms that I transformed into MIDI and use it as patterns in the main composition “Inverted Vessel”.
After the rocks, Kirstine and I decided to ascend the ramp doing Voice performance, engaging with a previous conversation that we had about voice working as a technic of processing these sensitive blocks (such as pain or grief). The voice performance provided the material that I use for the final composition. I worked with granular synthesis over the voices, enhancing this idea of defragmentation, transformation and re-composition.
The final piece “Inverted Vessel” consisted in a mono sound composition of the patterns of the rocks that created a block of sound, then intervene by the voices also in fragmentation.
Sound as falling dust from an inverted vessel. Death, as a game-changer were our perspective, are changed. Inverted vessel. Our voices descend into acceptance and transformation.
The end of the year in the southern hemisphere is the ending of a season and the beginning of renewal.