Performance series for voice, microphone and speaker. Also performed as an interactive installation with 6-channel sound, microphone and performers.
Passage explores the voice as a travelling and time based phenomenon. What happens when we become distanced from our body? When our voice is heard ‘over there’? Or when the sound of our voice does not reflect the space we stand in?
This series of performance works use movements of body, sound and speaker in a variety spaces to tease out and question how we understand our place in the world. Beginning as a sonic response to Bruce Nauman’s Live-Taped Video Corridor (1970), Passage utilises liminal zones as performance areas; thoroughfares, tunnels, hallways, stairwells, elevators, etc. In doing so, performances draw in unwitting participants; usually passers-by and members of the public.
In the open-air archways as part of the 2015 Audacious: Festival of Sonic Arts, Passage used 6-speakers to created a gothic like acoustic to suit the archway structure. A live microphone hung at one end, an open invitation to any passers-by to proclaim themselves into this new space. The voice returned was large and reverberant and echoed down the archways.
In the performances in the North Head gun emplacements (Auckland, NZ) we experience the voice as disembodied; dislocated from the body that announced itself. In this space we find we can walk toward our voices, follow our echoes.
Through this series the ‘self’ becomes repeated and transported around different spaces. You meet yourself ‘face-to-face’, as your voice is captured and then thrown back to you, in a kind of circular ventriloquism or feedback effect. Sometimes this echoed voice has acquired a quality unfamiliar to you; a borrowed acoustic, delay, decay, distortion. This experience alters our understanding of sounds in space. An echo is not simply a repeated ‘self’, nor the voice defining the space, but is also the voice of the mute object; the space itself. The voice can be present when the body is not; audible when the body is invisible. And while we know the voice to be from a body, we also experience that same voice as transcending the body.
This project was made with the support of The Auricle, Christchurch.
Audacious Festival of Sonic Arts: Radio New Zealand interview