space, breath, time
This documentation is from a performance that took place in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer in London on 18 July 2105 as part of the Hayward Gallery exhibition Echoes and Reverberations. It was performed by 14 musicians, each interpreting the following the below text score.
Read the online exhibition catalogue for Echoes and Reverberations in Ibraaz publications.
space, breath, time
as if to converse with…
... a drone on A [sustain]
– the history of tempered tuning.
... the time of the day, season, year, epoch
– phrases, ragas, maqams, in relation to clock time or the movement of the sun.
... the memory of the 1st time you heard/felt your instrument
– the song that was being played, the feeling it invoked.
... a note of your choice, then a note played by a colleague [sustain]
– information networks.
... someone random in the audience [a note or phrase directed specifically at them]
– telepathic connections.
... a difficult migration [rhythmically from slow to fast, low to high glissando]
– tumbling upward.
... your favorite ocean/sea [played in a low register]
– the rhythm of tide and waves.
... fire or ice [alternate]
– the story of Tansen.
... your breath, the breath of someone dear [softly]
– the lungs the bellows, expiring slowly.
The performance is intended to be a series of musical conversations, spanning from the micro to the macro. It begins with an internal conversation with yourself (the performer), your place in time and sound, extending to your fellow colleagues performing alongside you, out to the audience, and beyond, the environment and history as a whole. Its purpose is to expose the internal manifestation of a cosmic system, so that something of our great struggle is conveyed.
Not necessarily for harmonium, but for any instrument given asylum. For any number of performers.
This piece is an opportunity for an interpreter. It demands no very sophisticated formal approach. The interpreter may embellish, decorate, strip, or fill as they feel – with a focus on any patterns that can be produced on the instrument that cannot be produced by any other instrument or by the voice.
Play a section until you exhaust the thought, at which point pause for a moment of silence before collectively beginning the next conversation. Durations are free.
The performance is experienced spatially, with performers spread across a wide area immersing the audience, allowing them to walk between the sound, amongst the performers, interact with them, to freely explore the sonic characteristics of the performance area.
– Joe Namy. May 2015.
Recording duration: 29 mins 26 secs
Performers: Aine Dwyer, Artur Mvidal, Ajmair Nikzad, Blanca Regina, Daniel Gorman, Douglas Benford, Jack Goldstein, Joe Namy, Poulomi Desai, Raed Yassin, Ranjana Ghatak, Rushabh Malde, Simran Patel, Steve Beresford.
Recorded in London at Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, 18 July 2015, by Sheyma Buali and Pierre Bouvier Patron. Mixed @ Stork Super Night studio.
Images © Fabio Lugaro, NK Production, Felix Dickinson, and Joe Namy.