Holy Week

infinity channel electronic broadcast work

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CXV9KrL98E&t=20s



[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:


1.


“…it does its laundry with its tongue”


(Jarry, LÁmour Absolu)


2.


“D. – What do you see?”


R. – Water.


D.- What colour is this water?


R. – The colour of water.”


(Peret, endormi)



3.


“Enter he said and there was light.


No one had knocked.”


(Tzara, Ou boivent les loups)



4.


“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)


5.


“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)


6.


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


(Eluard, Comme deux gouttes déau)


7.


“. . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . . . . .


. . . . . . . . . . .”


(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


unlocking


breathing in my songs


breathing out again


arch-backed she floats above the ruins of the city


her only spectator the sacred pigeon