A New World is Reversed
Audio project: voice, text, electric guitar, electronic feedback
Commissioned by Other Sights for Artists’ Projects for The Foreshore Listens, a project generously supported by the City of Vancouver Public Art Program
January 28, 2018
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Invited by The Foreshore to create a work for their new audio series called The Foreshore Listens, A New World is Reversed is named after the subtitle "A New World is Revealed" and is from an introduction to Christopher Columbus' journal entries outlining his first journey in 1492 of his arrival in the Americas. Here I read the two journal entries starting from the end to the beginning, where thus the text is reversed.
Adding guitar feedback, original recordings inserted at the beginning and end, encourages the final audiowork to investigate relationships of Text to Speech to Sound to Music to Noise, and vice versa, while opening up any stereotypical narrative and/or syntax we hold toward approaching 'land', toward the shore, toward the sea, and with a proposition to a return to a "voyage of the whole".
Significantly this phrase "voyage of the whole" is an error in my recording, a phrase which should have been read as "voyage the of whole". I now take this error as a guide so as to learn what can be at the heart of the Foreshore: how do we reembody the whole, so as to learn to put aside the agendas of human exceptualism and anthropocentricism? I added the number "1492" to the text so as to give context to the era / error.
Another error is my mispronunciation of "Salve Regina". I see this error as a hint at a deescalation of Catholic influence and of the ancient language of Latin.
The recording of the voice was done in one sitting and in first reading. No editing was done except to restrain peaking and distortion in the volume levels. There is a durational / endurance element of reading this text back-to-front while remaining somatically and emotionally present to an embodied sense of the words while also staying-in-tune with a chemistry of the reversal and what it is tracing, of pointing to, while remaining true to, what is subtle and may not yet be known.
Thanks to Jen Weih for the invite; to Steve Bridger, John Fukushima and Anne Riley for feedback, noted errors, technical fixes, and ideas regarding chemistry and affect within reading and listening. Acknowledgements for funding support from the Canada Council for the Arts, InterArts Research and Creation Grants to Individual Artists.
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