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Holy Week

infinity channel electronic broadcast work

[Image used is Oedipus by Max Ernst from Une semaine de bonté (1934).]

​Holy Week received its premier at the 2019 Electric Spring Festival, on the HISS sound system in Phipps Hall at the University of Huddersfield. This concert took place February 20, 2019.

​This binaural recording was made in the 25.4-channel Spatialisation and Interactive Research Lab (SPIRAL) at the University of Huddersfield, so hopefully while a massive reduction from real space to a couple of ‘cans’ it will give a sense of the piece. It is important to keep in mind, however, that listening to a binaural reduction of a piece of space music is akin to looking at a black and white photograph of a painting in a book, as compared to looking at the painting itself.

Programme Note:

​Holy Week began as an attempt record the dawn chorus in Norfolk each day of Easter week 2017. Each day I tried, and each day I failed, as after positioning the microphone to capture the ecstatic salutations of the morning’s first birds their lullaby abruptly and consistently send me back to dreamland. However, this was not a total loss! What I obtained through this process was recorded evidence of completely unconscious behaviours, songs, and poems that I composed and performed while sleeping, a sort of lyrical composition at its most unmediated, or at the very least a sound image akin to an accidental photograph taken of the back of one’s own head.

I first worked with this material by gradually shifting the sound field by degree, in a manner suggestive of the sun moving steadily across the horizon on subsequent mornings. Then, I began to introduce other elements, sounds representational, and voices or signs characteristic of behaviours of things. Eventually I found myself responding to the epigraphs and images from Max Ernst’s own “week of kindness”(Une Semaine De Bonté). And so, Holy Week: a time-lapse audio guide to the sacred and profane, a hi-speed exhibitionist montage of personal environments.

​additional information:


“…it does its laundry with its tongue”

(Jarry, LÁmour Absolu)


“D. – What do you see?”

R. – Water.

D.- What colour is this water?

R. – The colour of water.”

(Peret, endormi)


“Enter he said and there was light.

No one had knocked.”

(Tzara, Ou boivent les loups)


“Great God, save the earth from ever bearing such monsters.

No history has proved there were any such.

Through the efforts of the authorities, no one will be exposed to them any longer.

(Complainte de Peyrebeille)


“I say that my fountain-pen is black, and I see it as black under the sun’s rays.

But this blackness is less the sensible quality of blackness than a sombre power

which radiates from the object.”

(Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception)


“I object to the love of readymade images in place of images to be made”

(Eluard, Comme deux gouttes déau)


“. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . .”

(Borel, Breton)

my piece contains the following poem:

opening her mouth

a tiger emerges from the mouth of the bell

opening its own mouth

a tiger emerges from its mouth

arch-backed lions open their mouths

out of which arise lions

defining an arch

this lasts forever

an empty building rises in the darkness above an otherwise crowded town square

people buy hotdogs

from a single window you are watched closely

a tiger emerges from the mouth of the bell

opening its own mouth

a tiger emerges from the mouth

arch-mouthed lions open their backs

out of which arise lions

defining an arch

sharp teeth pain fingertips

that hold the teeth

holding it open

self-similar and becoming

a waterfall

that masks the gaping mouth of the cave

she took my hand

don’t be afraid

but I was afraid

self-similar and becoming

a waterfall

becoming a beacon

floodlights across the water

shipwrecked on easter island

holding on for dear life at the mouth of the delta

perhaps they will be found, despite the fierce currents

the ferocious waves

perhaps they will have survived

meanwhile, its cousin

the river

flowing inward

draining down the mountain range

and out

into its tributaries

defining the flood plane

defining the territory

the flypaper

and the territory

same seconds on either side

and the same scent on either side

the sum of all sides

the key to songs

breathing fire at the court of the dragon

a soprano, breathing water

(whispers of the relations across the table)

meanwhile, the tablecloth, covered with blood

and her dress covered in blood

oedipal bubbles form on clear lips

the servants bring boiled eggs

slowly placing them before the drooling guests

and one great boiled egg

in the center of the table

that they slowly peel with their foreheads

wherefrom project great egg teeth

rinosaurian egg teeth

the bells roar, a putrid cloud fills the valley

fearless, pass beneath tigers descriptive of arches

and arch-backed tigers asleep in stone

recall the bubbles that reflected the glowing city from the riverside

in the memory where the trees ended into the river

and across

the city lifts her skirts and rises from the riverside

head invisible in the haze, the gaslight

the wind is blowing

and the wind is black

there is no flag blowing in the wind

at the interior

all songs constitute

a new and yet unknown multitude keys

I downloaded these songs

I listened to them on my way home

singing them for myself

the man on the bench next to me

his face, entirely destroyed

peeling off

I closed my eyes


breathing in my songs

breathing out again

arch-backed she floats above the ruins of the city

her only spectator the sacred pigeon

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