On The Surface of The Text (Circle One Gallery, Berlin, 2018)
A reading session which combines text, sound bites and props and takes place with the participation of the audience. The reading session examines the manner in which literacy plays a role in the establishment of colonial power. It follows the story of Sankama, “the first of the Amazonian Piro tribe who claimed to know how to read”, which was put into writing in 1947 by the missionary and linguist, Esther Matteson. In the story, Sankama demonstrates his point of view on the condition of his people, who were forced into debt slavery, as it speaks to him; Sankama prophesies the arrival of airplanes with Western clothing and the uprising of the colonized people.
The sound aspect is comprised of two pieces. One is a written score for the audience to read and, if they choose to, perform. The other is a recorded sound piece, for the audience to listen to in headphones. Both utilise observed musical techniques and field recordings gathered during field research in the Peruvian Amazon in 2017.
Collaboration with artist Ofri Lapid.
Aqua Rebecca (Listen to the Voice of Fire / National Library of Wales, 2017)
Text and sound work for three voices, percussion and electronics.
Rebecca Vaughan, née Asher, the wife of Welsh clergyman, alchemist and royalist soldier Thomas Vaughan (Philalethes) and the sister~in~law of Metaphysical poet and translator of hermetic texts Henry Vaughan, is a hidden figure in the history of alchemy, a secret within a secret. We know through her husband’s notebooks that she was at times equal partner, at times leading thinker of their alchemical experiments even after her death (when he began to write his journal upside~down) he signed off his entries with both of their initials. Aqua Rebecca: A Phantasia for Rebecca Asher is a sound and text piece that tries to find her voice. Role~reversing the descriptions of Rebecca from Thomas’ dreams after her death (recorded in his notebooks) alongside snippets of Henry Vaughan’s poetry, two voices oscillate between spoken and sung improvisation. Beneath the voices, electronic instrumentation moves in alternating 2nds, 3rds and 4ths, taking inspiration from the alchemical reasoning of Maria Prophetessa: one becomes two, two becomes three, and out of the third comes the fourth.
Collaboration with musicians Rachel Margetts and Bethan Lloyd.
Aphasia Songs (UCL, London 2014)
Graphic score for accordion, electronics & multiple voice.
Written for the artist Ellen Yeon Kim‘s Shelter installation. The Shelter was temporary space away from communication. On the grounds of its motives and needs, visitors declare and agree to part with means of communication such as speaking, writing, reading, as well as use of personal electronic devices, sign language, pictogramme, and non-verbal communication involving touch without pre-agreement.
In response to this space, Aphasia Songs was developed through research at the Wellcome Collection’s library on aphasia – a neurological inability to process linguistic information. In order to expose the chaotic but also freeing nature of communicating without consistently processing information, Aphasia Songs consisted of a graphic score for accordion and voice, to be performed above a looped backing track. Over an hour, several different singers entered the space and performed the score, not knowing how it had been interpreted by the previous singer.
Collaboration with artist Ellen Yeon Kim and singers Tanya Wells, Josephine Stephenson, John Murray and Nina Scott.