HEAR ME : The Producing Project Live Series

Old Folks Association Hall, 8 Gundry St, Newton, Auckland

29/07/2011 - 30/07/2011

Production Details

HEAR ME brings together choreographers, body in space artists and musicians interested in collaborating across disciplines and experimenting in sound/body relationships.  

1.       Instructions for re-membering (forwards): a slide show
Choreography by Becca Wood, Participants – James Wenley, Sharon LIightfoot, Rachel Ruckstuhl-Mann, Matt Norton. 
A collection of images from a recent trip to Europe provide a score for re-membering place and prioritizing the ‘embodied’ experience. This is one of a series of sonic choreographies for headphones which test somatically informed choreographic methods in the mediated relationship between screen image, body, sound and space.


2.       Yi Minority Dance
Performed by Andrea Sun
Zither is a kind of Chinese traditional musical instrument. Everybody in china admires its gorgeous sound.
3.       Eggs
Choreography by Misa Tupou, Performed by Hear Me Artists
This short piece Eggs delicately explores an event that many women have experienced; miscarriage. This performance is an attempt to capture the essence of such a loss.  The violent nature of smashing the eggs are in contrast to an experience that we can only assume; however, the ferocity of this performance can in a small way be interpreted as a reflection of such a heartbreaking loss in a delicate moment of one’s life. 
4.       “And it was like…”
Sound Movement Space (SMS) Collective in collaboration with Taaz
Performed by Kerrin Burns, Elise Chan, Juanita Jellyman with Taaz MC
Sound Artist: James Bryant, Artist Support: Hannah Kaye
 Urban Akl: And the scene is set for a relationship of ebb and flow. Stanzas of rap and contemporary dance converse; reminisce; muse about occasions throughout their cityscape.
5.       I am Still Here
Choreographed and performed by Christina Houghton
Music: Cloud Boy ‘No Room In-between’ from Down the end of the Garden and Mathew Dear ‘Honey’ from Black City. Recorded text from Millicent Diaries, writings by self.
 What does it mean to wear your clothing in reverse, it can be a sign that all is not as it should be.
6.       Preceding the Thread
Written, directed, choreographed and performed by Chris Tempest and Kate Bartlett
Sound – Live adaptation of Emmy the great – Paper Trail, Cat Power – I don’t blame you
 Preceding the Thread frames fragmented moments of intimate communication, evoking the tension that’s aligned with the complexity of continuously shared space. Through the use of a primarily structured script, our characters attempt to construct their own place within this pre-existing space. The live creation of sound is to be felt as an extension of these two human beings, being human.
7.       Bloom (1989)
Choreography by Margie Gillis, Performed by Lydia Bittner Baird
Text: "Soliloquy of Molly Bloom" from James Joyce’s Ulysses, narrated by Siobhan McKenna
About the music and Molly Bloom’s soliloquy: The final episode of Ulysses takes place in the early hours of Friday, June 17, and takes the form of a monologue uttered by Molly Bloom. The structure of the episode is intensely stream-of-consciousness, lacking punctuation and traditional sentence structure. We’re taken inside the consciousness of Molly, and to do so is "to plunge into a flowing river. If we have hitherto been exploring the waste land, here are the refreshing, life-giving waters that alone can renew it" The episode begins with the word "Yes," which resonates throughout Molly’s soliloquy and ends the episode as well in a stream of affirmation of life and human love.
8.       07734
Choreographed and performed by Rapz Maihi, Composed by Josh Tilsley
An exploration of digital communication added with analogue improvisation to create an environment of quickness, like packets of data flowing in staccato movements creating an entity bearing no relation to 0’s and 1’s but consisting of nothing but.

James Wenley, Sharon LIightfoot, Rachel Ruckstuhl-Mann, Matt Norton
Andrea Sun (Zither interlude)
Hear Me Artists

Kerrin Burns, Elise Chan, Juanita Jellyman with Taaz MC, Sound Artist: James Bryant, Artist Support: Hannah Kaye

Christina Houghton

Chris Tempest and Kate Bartlett
Lydia Bittner Baird with narration by Siobhan McKenna

Curator: Lydia Zanetti
Producer: James Wenley
Technical Managers: Rapz (Rapana) Maihi and Maximus Smitheram
Marketing and Publicity: Zahra Killen-Chance, Christina Houghton
Lighting Design Mentor: Sean Curham
Lighting/ Sound Operator: Maximus Smitheram
Sound Assistant: Josh Tilsley
Front of House: James Wenley and Rapz (Rapana) Maihi
Poster Photography: Blair McTaggart

90 mins

Hear Me offers a rich melange

Review by Raewyn Whyte 30th Jul 2011

Hybrid art involving sound and the body provides a rich melange in HEAR ME, the second event of this year’s LIVE SERIES by the Producing Project, this time presented in the cosy Old Folks Hall on Gundry Street. These new works by independent dance and performance artists are more -or-less experimental and largely still in progress. Taken collectively, they offer a relatively representative sampling of contemporary performance genres in Auckland.
The sound sources range widely, including 2000 year old Chinese zither (gu zheng), a rap song composed this week, a poetic soliloquy from 1922, field recordings made earlier this year in European towns, the sound of breaking eggs, amplifier static and slamming doors, recorded journal fragments intercut with atmospheric electronica, and improvisation over beats. Despite the theme of experimentation, there’s a more or less traditional relationship of sound to movement in this evening of curated works — the sound acts as accompaniment, narrative thread, cue and trigger, motivation or inspiration for choreographed performances.
Becca Wood’s in-the-round Instructions for re-membering (forwards): a slide show is arguably the most experimental work of the evening, dealing as it does with the absence of the expected, the way sound conjures presence for us, and the way our memories of places are embodied in the movements we share with others. It is also the least traditional in its relationship of sound and body, demonstrating their disjunction.
Standing in the middle of the audience, Wood tells us that she has been travelling recently in Europe and that she wants to share some experiences with us. She unpacks a slide projector from her roll-along suitcase, and plugs it in. The lights come on, and a series of field recordings rolls — a train station, church bells, street sounds, a salsa band, drums, yodelling – with her litany of places visited running beneath. Four people move about the space apparently following instructions via ipod and headphones, as if in a museum. These atomised individuals perform everyday movements which nevertheless suggest the experience of travellers- taking photos, pointing into the distance, lying on the ground, walking briskly or very slowly around and about, or sustaining poses for long periods, shading their eyes, cupping their ears, looking up into the sky, gesturing with their hands, resting by sitting on the ground.
By the end you feel as if you have been on a long journey, seen many sights, experiences many interactions — and you realise that there were no slides, such traditional media of the traveller having been discontinued in 2009.
A different kind of absence is conjured by Yi Minority Dance, a traditional Chinese dance score played on the guzheng by Andrea Sun. Sun vigorously plucks and presses, strums, flicks and picks the 20 or so strings of the zither, her right hand acting as the rhythm section and tremolo while her left hand provides both bold and subtle ornamentation ranging from cascading waterfall sequences, runs and rills, to repeated single notes. The musician’s feet are firmly planted on the floor and her legs rarely move, but the upper body is highly articulate, the arms and hands limber and quick, precise, the upper body curving forward or stretching laterally to encompass her reach down the length of the zither. Although we see no dancer, the musician clearly does, and the invisible spectre seems to be left behind in the room with us.
By contrast, Molly Bloom from James Joyce’s Ulysees (1922) is distinctly here in the room with us for the duration of the beautifully nuanced Bloom (1989) choreographed by Canadian Margie Gillis and impressively danced by Lydia Bittner Baird. This is no work in progress, it is whole cloth — a very tricky interpretive dance set to the eight extraordinarily long sentences of Molly Bloom’s soliloquy, echoing the flickering cadences of the stream of consciousness text and its fleeting references to the thoughts passing through Molly’s mind as she lies in bed beside her husband. The choreography masterfully interweaves naturalistic, figurative, symbolic and abstract movements to reflect a selection of the umpteen events recounted in the text, and the dancer magically flickers in and out of the multiple personas introduced in the recounting of events, revealing the real amidst the poetic, and ending on an exultant Yes!. which is corporeally shouted.
The other works touch on disparate themes – the smashing of eggs symbolically representing experiences of miscarriage in Misa Tupou’s Eggs performed by Hear Me artists; a disturbed, fragmented persona represented by backwardly worn clothing and reversed movement sequences in Christina Houghton’s solo I am Still Here; and the patterning and disruption of digital communication is referenced in improvisational breakdance with labels by Rapz Maihi with music by Josh Tilsley in 07734. 
The ebb and flow of relationships amongst three very close friends is presented by SMS Collective with live rap from Taaz MC in "And it was like…", in a conventional kind of contemporary dance choreography in which two dancers are always watched by the third who is for the moment the one pushed out of close connectivity. Similarly, but with a good deal more experimentation in the physicality of the body, Chris Tempest and Kate Bartlett in Preceding the Thread  depict an uncosy domestic partnership between two people who are almost always together. Some wonderful moments here with a good deal of wry humour and byplay around an amplifier, its cable, and a missing electric guitar.
Taken collectively, the evening’s works also justify the curatorial provocation — and open up further possibilities for exploration.

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