Dear all. I thought I would put some comments from our Tuesday session here:
As you know we are rapidly approaching the easter break, and although you all have some interesting ideas I am concerned to make sure that you are making continuous progress in your groups.
The Lawn: It was good to hear the sample of your audio. The poetic tone in the voice makes a good contrast to the factual information that you have been discussing. Consider if and when the ‘wild-track’ should dip out. It can help to take the ‘listener’ into the internal mono/dialogue of the performer if we lose the backing track at significant points. I look forward to hearing more of the audio on Friday. Make sure you frame the factual information in a way that separates it from the more poetic personal disclosures, that way you will also have chance to move between the ‘off-stage’ space of the other table, and the one-on-one performative encounter.
We will try this out on Friday in Zing.
The Park: I think the idea of tracing the old playground equipment through the notion of presence and absence is really interesting and could be very effective. Consider how the people who have visited the site can come through in the tracing. Performatively this can be in simple actions, you don’t need to overcomplicate it with character. It will depend on the audio and how the encounter between the space/site and the audience/experiencer relates to the actions that you are performing with the trace.
You mentioned having emailed the Council for permissions. I would suggest actually going in to see them and explaining that this is now a derelict site, and that the materials you use are completely washable, and that you will return the site as you found it etc…You could wait forever for them to respond in writing, and we don’t have the time.
The Beechey group: I think it is good that you are thinking about the relationship between the performance and the audio. The important things to do now are to decide upon the tense and the tone of the recording. Remember you are not taking the audience literally back to 1915, instead you are providing some essence of, a suggestion of rememberance, a poetic encounter with a ‘ghost’ from the past, a trace of previous narratives. And along with that you are introducing your audience to the site. Why this site? What is important about this site in connection with your ‘stories/encounters’? Thinking about the stones as a metaphor or a symbol to guide us through the experience is one that you can explore further.
The layering of this work should be detailed and thorough, but the performance style needn’t be complicated.
The Arboretum: It was good to visit the site with you. You need to consider the relationship between what we hear as an experiencer, and then what we see. How much can you control what we see? You need to guide us. You have started to think about greetings, and how the numerous and varied greetings can be sued performatively. I wonder if there is something to explore in the way that a greeting could be like an ambush (?) There are so many ways to say ‘hello’, and perhaps more significantly for the time period you are working with ‘goodbye’.
Be careful not to ‘show and tell’ in too literal sense. We won’t know if the actions you have discussed will work with the audio until we experience it. Be prepared to demonstrate the work in the space/site before I can feedback to you. We agreed to experience this in the Friday session next week, so you should work towards getting your audio recorded and on a sound player before then. If necessary, you could always download them as mp3s and put them on a phone so we can hear them at the site.
The Library (Chloe): It has been good to hear your ideas and hear how you are progressing. Your priority now needs to be in getting some recording done so that we can hear the ‘overheard conversations’ that you spoke about. It will be a detailed process of researching the ‘characters’ that would have been present in the building (in the past), and the sorts of conversations that will have taken place. You then need to script the contemporary ‘overheard’ words so that you can blend between the two. Of course after scripting these you will need to rehearse some performers to deliver and record the audio, before editing it and working it in the space/site. It’s a lot to achieve, particularly as you are working on your own, so you will need to be moving forward with this continuously. Once you have some of the recordings we can consider how to work the performance in the space.