Hydroscore for a Silent Choir

Mark-making, through monoprinting and drawing, allows me to think through ideas and processes in ways that release me from the tyranny of ‘the list’. Having already produced a workbook for my collaborations with Iris Garrelfs and Joseph Kohlmaier, this week I started producing one for my work with members of the Silent Choir. These workbooks are simple sheaves of blank paper, interspersed with the monoprints and drawings I’ve been doing.

Earlier this week I went to Goldsmiths University for the first of four sessions with Iris and Joseph. This introductory session was a wide ranging ramble through ideas, triggers, and methods, and was important for establishing a shared sense of the project going forward. Also this week, I applied to attend a workshop with Astrida Neimanis (at Goldsmiths also) around ‘Weathering’ – a practice or tactic for understanding our inter-implicatedness, for interrupting existing patterns and notions of resilience and vulnerability, of thinking about the weather as more-than-meteorological.

And last but not least! After much hair-pulling over the years, I am finally (finally!) the recipient of an Arts Council grant, for Hydrosapiens. The entire project is ambitious, and therefore the funding application felt immense. Clearly this strategy has paid off, and now Hydrosapiens can embrace its full potential. Many thanks to Arts Council England, and especially to the individuals who guided me through the process, and particularly to the individuals participating in Hydrosapiens.

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Hydrosapien for Plymouth Art Weekender – a live Silent Choir performance adaptation of the essay Hydrofeminism (@AstridaNeimanis), accompanied by a duo of experimental voice artists who will use the same text as the basis for their non-linguistic contribution. It even has its own website now.

Half of the project involves me workshopping at Goldsmiths, with Iris Garrelfs and Joseph Kohlmaier, to develop  a ‘score’ for their contribution to the performances.

Influenced by (amongst many others) Hanna Tuulikki – Spinning in Stereo, Liz K Miller and Kim Macari – Circular Score: Round Two, and the scores used in the live performance of Jim Finers’ Long Player at St. Martins Church as part of Art Week Exeter, I am starting with visual experiments before heading to London for the workshops. Using drawing and monoprinting to develop an abstracted yet structured relationship between the essay Hydofeminism, water, and imagined sounds, I am finding that I’m mapping, and re-finding the relationship between mark,  sound and gesture.

Joseph Kohlmaier’s practice crosses a broad spectrum of disciplines, bringing together writing, design, teaching, performance, editorial and curatorial work, and composition. He founded Musarc, one of the UK’s most progressive choral collectives, in 2008, and acts as the ensemble’s creative director. He is a principal lecturer and head of Critical and Contextual Studies at The Cass, London Metropolitan University, and one of the founding directors of graphic design practice Polimekanos and its associated imprint Cours de Poétique.

IRIS GARRELFS works on the cusp of music, art and sociology. Investigating sites through listening she creates responses that often combine field recordings with voice and are not just explorations of geographical, historical or sociological aspects, but also poetical evocations of presence. As one of the pioneers of digitally augmented vocal performance, her vocal work has has been described by ATTN:Magazine as follows: “Garrelfs’ gymnastic flexibility is remarkable. Her falsetto has this incredible pinball elasticity, zipping suddenly upward in playful excitement or sudden shock, reaching pitches that seem to shrink her into miniature.”

Her work has been presented internationally, for example National Gallery, Royal Academy of Arts London, Visiones Sonores Mexico, Onassis Cultural Centre Athens, Palazzo delle Esposizioni Rome, MC Gallery New York. Residencies have included Grizedale Art, Institute of Modern Art Celje (Slovenia), Tate Britain. Recordings were released on
Linear Obsessional (UK), Pan Y Rosas Discos (US), Audition Records (Germany), Gruenrekorder (Germany),  Baskaru Records (France) and more.

Elsewhere Garrelfs is lecturer in Sonic Art at Goldsmiths, University of London and editor of the open access journal Reflections on Process in Sound.