Performance Writing Binaural Word Choreography
How do you make works “move in space and time”? Which region, organ, emotional event, sexual orientation or place in the room do words originate from? How may digital processes of various levels of fidelity, challenge the original event as subject to the physiological functions of perception of living and non-living entities? How is that offered as an all-audiences accessible experience?
One of the things that hold this piece dear to me is exactly how it combines practice as research, with the fact that communities from varied backgrounds have been absolutely enjoying experiencing it in different countries. Originally designed for one person at a time, people would often come back to it with another person. So, you put headphones on, lie down with eyes closed on a bed in white room, with fairy lights changing randomly as the only light source, seemingly randomly hanging from the ceiling. That did make it difficult to document in way other than the actual piece tracks.
The piece was commissioned by Joanna O’ Donovan for the exhibition “Intensify”, her own research in curating contemporary art. Anticipation was the emotion and my choice was to rework a poem from 13 μF [13 micro fears or micro powers], a work previously presented as dancetheater text in Analogio Festival 2007 under the artistic direction of Sissy Papathanasiou, staged by choreographer Antigone Gyra, then published by Aigokeros Books in Athens, Greece. Dr David Prior , Associate Proffessor of Performance – Creative Music Technology, led me to an amazing sound designer who was just graduating from Dartington, Joe Scarfee. Joe generously lent me his underwater recording “Khione” of the iced surface of a river melting and his knowledge and tools that allowed for a multilayered binaural processing of the original text. Both the outcome and the process have been welcomed in art venues and conferences and still inform my body/word -Performance Writing teachings and is available for touring. Beware, it might take you a little time to reorient yourself on exiting from this poetry installation.
Premier: Kinitiras Studio, 3-9 October 2010, Athens, Greece, Next stops: The Basement, Nov. 25&26, 2010, Brighton, UK, Body/Soli Conference, 8 May 2011 & Dance on the Crossroad of Culture Congress, University of Nicosia, 23 March 2012, Nicosia, Cyprus
photo: Christos Polymenakos