SHOAL X SOUNDINITIATIVE ONLINE 2021
A 5-WEEK SERIES of PERFORMANCES & workshops
Together with SHOAL (UK) and soundinitiative (FR) ensembles, we have curated a series of performances and workshops that imaginatively respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, exploring themes of isolation, community, technology dependence, indoors / outdoors etc., and treating the glitch and instability associated with livestream / remote connection as idiosyncrasies. The series aims to encourage a diverse audience to positively contemplate the huge societal adaptation that COVID-19 has forced upon humankind and the world around us.
Shaun Davies - new work commissioned by Kinetic (2020/21)
Further Kinetic commission TBA.
Preceded by open public workshop delivered by Joshua Hyde and Gwen Rouger of soundinitiative.
Performance proceded by Q&A session with soundinitiative members and contributing composers.
Our first event features two brand new KINETIC commissions. Combining bluetooth technology with field recordings filtered through human-made instruments and objects, Shaun Davies's new work focuses on nature’s healing power and a public embracement of green spaces as a positive consequence of the pandemic. The composer of the partner piece will be decided via open call; encouraging creators to involve audience participation using the combination of livestream video and the text chat function.
SHOAL #1 - homely sound
La Monte Young - Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, etc. (1960)
Callum Coomber - new work commissioned by Kinetic (2020/21)
Alison Knowles - #2a Variation #1 on Proposition (Make a Soup) (1964)
Alison Knowles - #3 Nivea Cream Piece - for Oscar Williams (1962)
Performance proceded by Q&A session with SHOAL members.
SHOAL's homely sound addresses indoor isolation by encouraging appreciation of the over-normalised domestic soundscape. In La Monte Young’s Poem for Chairs, Tables, Benches, etc., furniture is abnormally interrogated to create choreographed improvisation. Callum Coomber's new composition involves imitation of sounds from outdoor environments using household objects, mapping fond personal experiences onto those considered mundane. Two Alison Knowles event pieces also feature, re-imagined for the modern day as light-hearted, comedic responses to the pandemic.
SHOAL #2 - 'outdoors/indoors'
Michael Pisaro - fields have ears (4) (2009)
One of a series of ten fields have ears compositions, this lone piece by Michael Pisaro depicts a “slow change in the environment... from outdoors to indoors”. Two SHOAL members will perform indoors and two in their gardens.
Alexander Schubert - Star Me Kitten (2015)
Jessie Marino - Discreet Observations for your Family's Peace of Mind (2016)
This event features two video isolation remixes, specially arranged and recorded by soundinitiative members in isolation. Jessie Marino’s Discreet observations for your family’s peace of mind creates an immersive and disturbing experience - an advertisement for a service that uploads your consciousness to the cloud, so you can be assured your digital afterlife is in safe hands. Star Me Kitten by Alexander Schubert is “a lecture on the relationship between sound and content” - a world filled with glitching technology and bizarre references. Both pieces reflect upon ways in which technology is infiltrating, or integrating itself into our daily lives. Do the benefits outweigh the intrusions?
SHOAL #3 - 'isolated meditation'
Pauline Oliveros - Pacific Tell / Sonic Meditation 4 (1974)
Cassandra Miller - Rounding
Preceded by open public workshop on Rounding - date TBA.
This event is dedicated to those struggling by themselves, or with others. ‘Sonic Meditation IV (Pacific Tell)’ by Pauline Oliveros asks performers to isolate themselves and telepathically transmit sound images, then make sound on receiving these telepathic sound images from one another. Cassandra Miller's Rounding asks performers to record themselves multiple times singing along to a provided audio file, while carrying out a body scan meditation, these recordings eventually form audio scores for the performers. The piece, having been written for CoMA (Contemporary Music for All), is suitable for musicians of any skill level and will to open the performance of this piece up to anyone who would like to take part. This last act of meditation offers something deeply contradictory for us to ponder - isolation within community.