In the autumn of 2017, I was invited to develop a piece for presentation for the 2018 sonADA festival in Aberdeen. This would be a live performance and I was reassured that as long as I made some sound, I would be fine. As an aside, I had NEVER performed live before as much of my work has tended to be developed for sound and video installation or for broadcast online or for radio. So, taking the bull by the horns, I jumped in feet first and tried to put my initial trepidation to one side.
I wanted to make sure that what I presented linked to my research topic Traces and What’s Left: Constructing a Communicative Form as an Artist Practice which focuses on erasure as a methodology and asks When does erasing become narrative? in art practice. I also wanted to present work that was current to this thesis and not re-present an older work.
Not Everything That Can Be Thought Can Be Said (2017)
I chose to develop a live performance of Not Everything That Can Be Thought Can Be Said, created in 2017 during my 1st year of research. This was initially presented as a sound installation for the exhibition The Space Between (2017) at Patriothall Gallery in Edinburgh.
A series of spoken quotes from the writers Susan Sontag, Luc Tesson and Salome Voeglin that all discuss silence have been recited and recorded with all word content deleted. What is left are the beginnings of words and the presence of a body and the words that were not spoken with the focus on what is missing.
Not Everything That Can Be Thought Can Be Said (2018)
For sonADA I revisited this piece and embarked on creating a version for live performance. Three performers recite three scores, the texts taken from the writers Susan Sontag, Luc Tesson and Salome Voeglin, each reflecting on silence within art, life and sound. Each performer focuses on only communicating the beginning of each word, enabling meaning to become fluid and move between truth and fiction. What is left is the presence of a body and the words that were not spoken. Focus is on what is missing, with the viewer able to construct and create their own meaning based around the words they almost heard.
During the development of this piece, I scheduled two rehearsals with an additional rehearsal on the evening of the event. Here we focused on our running order and went through each text to create our individual scores. We also discussed tone of voice, delivery of our speech and rotating around the performance space three times to signify each of the three texts.
Live performance for three performers with three text scores. Commissioned and presented for the sonADA Festival: Sound of Others (2018), Aberdeen, Scotland, UK.