Above video clip: The Organ of Organs, (or the Multi Headed Hydra) during Tuning in a Vacuum
Tuning in a Vacuum is a 40 minute live performance of seven new sound-based sculptures. Materials, space and sound played out in a politics of negotiation, the physicality of the sculptures’ structural and audio qualities shaping the dynamics of the performers’ collaborations, as each encounter with the objects presents a new set of relations.
The theme of pairs runs through the piece. The bronze age Sussex trumpet, discovered down a well, is one of the earliest musical instruments from the area, and similar ancient trumpets have often been found discarded as pairs, suggesting their use in ritual.
Duets between objects and performers developed into trios, quads and quintets across different bodies, becoming multi-limbed with audio phasing and reverberations from intimate to expansive. The live reflections and connections that the sculptures enabled, led us beyond sound into a space where performers and sculptures began to merge with one another.
Textiles and hand dyes that covered the sound sails and the handmade costumes are inspired by the work of local artist Ethel Mairet whose textiles-based practice involved foraging local plants from the South Downs for natural dyes. The installation’s moving architectural sound sails are informed by the Bauhaus Dessau stage architecture that opens out into the Bauhaus students’ canteen, connecting performance and communal spaces (with and without audience).
Tuning in a Vacuum was performed by Luke Birch, Claire Godsmark, Emma Lindsay, Claudia Kappenberg and Rita Evans.
Movement Advisor Yael Flexer.
Live Sound by Suzie Burrows.
Curated by Noelle Collins, Exhibitions & Offsite Curator, Towner Eastbourne.
Supported by The Foundation Foundation Emerging Artist Award.