Crit 2, Group A RESPONSE (March 2016)

Some notes from my Crit Group Skype meeting:

The quality of my voice came up, and there were questions about whether I was conscious of how I was speaking, and the volume of my voice when I’m speaking into the iPhone (it's quiet, and not always audible). Then the playback of the audio in the second section brought up questions about how I might edit the audio before playing it back. Paolo brought up Alvin Lucier, and how on each repetition of his voice is altered. I’m interested in the subtleties of listening, and Kayoko brought up John Cage and the possibility that not hearing everything the first time around is important. I agree. To strain the ears a little initiates a closeness of the audience's attention. Speaking softly also changes my vocal tone away from theatrical projection, which is not a part of my training or practice. Theatrical projection changes the weight of each word, and its emphasis becomes linguistic, as opposed to connected to  inner churning of the body.

What’s not there? The gaps in sound. Back to John Cage, and instilling in the audience a reality of quietness vs the amplification provided by technology. I’m thinking about how listening in a room is always partial, and interrupted. I only hear small blips of things. I want to play with this idea more, it’s important. I also want to be careful about excluding the audience too much. They need to have enough of the words to maintain interest. That will bring me closer to them in space perhaps, by way of letting them hear me. I’m remembering ‘40 Person Motet’ by Janet Cardiff where singular voices can be heard among the choir by moving to different speakers.

The repetition came up in conversation as well. The sound is replayed, but the dance has changed. It is repetition with development. The audience has just witnessed the dance that produced the words, and then they witness the dance produced BY the words, or by listening to the words. This connects to Bill Evans’ album ‘Conversations with Myself’ that Paolo brought up. I need to listen to that and think about how the repetition develops.

Relationship to the audience was an important point of discussion. Sanja, and a few others agreed, that it would be great to get closer to the audience. It’s a terrifying thing, and they all sensed it, in my downward gaze, and position in the space. Now that I’ve tried this once I think I could insert myself in the audience, or play off of them more by acknowledging them through the words I’m saying.

In regard to doing my studio practice with witnesses, Kayoko brought up Authentic Movement. This was great to think about again. I've only tried it a few times, but now want to read more about it. It’s from Mary Starks Whitehouse, and I think Nina Martin and the Naropa University bubble.

The split between who can hear me, and who can see me came up. This is great. I’m excited about playing with that, and the level of information available, so the audience can piece things together from partialities, thus initiating them to fill in more gaps.

Andrea H. brought up my vulnerability. It’s very palpable. She thought up some ways for me to protect myself spatially, or play with the gaze more, to only let people in intermittently. I will try crafting this more specifically.

The movement in the beginning is continuous. In the performance I showed, it's related to the reading I had done ahead of time. The connection between the body and its preparatory, affective atmosphere is working. Keep going.