Tuesday, 27 February 2018

Voice Talk

I would like to present you part of a talk that I was having with Enrique Pardo during the last few weeks. Enrique Pardo is one of the founding members of The Roy Hart Theatre, founder of PanTheatre and one of the few colleagues in Malérargues whose search about issues around voice and art is not only still continuing but is using Philosophy and Mythology as a strong source of inspiration. Our approaches are quite different though. But we share the urge to find words for a part of our research. Maybe our talk has some interesting aspects for those who are connected to the voice work of Roy Hart and Alfred Wolfsohn.
Enriques remarks appear in his blog.

Our discussion startet with his post: 
https://enriquepanblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/30/towards-a-docta-memoria-of-roy-hart/

This is my first response:

Dear Enrique,

thank you for your inspiring thoughts and remarks about a doctorate on Roy Hart. I am always grateful for new considerations about „Roy Hart“ to think about.

I am not sure if I should feel addressed by your „reproach“:

I will also add that the main reproach I make to the new generation of “Roy Hart” teachers, is that they do not confront nor develop critically the philosophical and artistic ideals of Roy Hart, and often turn back towards the presumably romantic and less agitated / agitator formulations of his teacher, Alfred Wolfsohn, and settle for a “facilitation” model that I would call « soft », which could possibly be put in relation to a presumed soft side of Foucault’s notion of “care of self”.

But I would like to give an answer to it. You say above that this student who was asking you for a bibliography understood the experience of „body and pleasure“ that he/she had in workshops as a central aspect of our work. I agree this sounds a bit odd. I cannot judge how much this impression is adequate with what the „Roy Hart Teachers“ had in mind but I think it is at least also a „problem“ of the workshop structure in which we use to „teach“ in Malérargues. People come there to spend part of their holidays and expect to have pleasure. Nothing wrong with that but of course this should only be seen as one step on a journey that obviously (for this workshop participant) has just begun. Neither Roy Hart nor Alfred Wolfsohn of course would have stopped there!

(And the aspect of body and embodiment is something that needs more confrontation and development in my view, too! )

I have another view on the differences between the two „pioneers“ related to your remarks on „soft“ and „self“. In both directions of your assertion I would disagree. From what I know I am not sure if Roy was less devoted to the idea of a self than Awe. I remember this famous card he once wrote, saying: Enjoy your self, not your ego! This is pure CG Jung! And in both cases it is not necessarily related to a mere „care of self“ but to a serious intention for a research on something you can call „self“ (or find other words) through the voice.

On the other hand I don´t see Awe „softer“ or less agitated in his research than Roy. (Maybe he was more romantic, but he was aware of it and insisted on his Romanticism because of his experiences with modernity that led – in his view - directly to Hitler and the Holocaust. So he says in „The Bridge“.) They both incorporated two different (and impressive) mixtures of freedom and limitation. But for me it included in both cases radical thinking and acting. Less radical in Awe´s artistic ideas than in Roy Hart´s though.

As far as I can see for both of them the human voice was such an unique „medium“ of research into  - well: self, humanity, life, art – because the voice is always in contact with the inner situation and the body of the one who „sings“ and at the same time with the outside -  the listener, the space, the world. This is one reason why the voice work goes beyond psychology. Listening includes the other. It happens in a common space. If you want you can find the roots of this ideas in Romanticism. But I think Awe refers to it only because this is what got lost in the age of individuality. And here I can see very little differences between Awe and Roy.

For someone like me who never met Awe or Roy in person the writings of Awe give more material to „confront or develop critically the philosophical and artistic ideals" than what I know from Roy Hart. But in my own work that philosophically and artistically goes in other directions I feel the roots very strong which connect me to Awe and to Roy Hart.





He responded with this post: 
https://enriquepanblog.wordpress.com/2018/02/23/mediumship-and-real-estate-roy-hart-and-malerargues/

This is my last response:

dear Enrique,

thank you for your response! As far as I understand our positions are not that far from each other than it seemed to me. Still I would like to give or clarify my position on a couple of points.


Who is “we”? Good question and I understand very well that you don´t want to be included in a “we” that is not appropriate. When I said “we” I was just thinking of the group of people who care about Malérargues and/or the voice work that is related to the name Roy Hart. Is there such a “we”?
I liked very much that Linda consulted the I Ching for asking what role the name of Roy Hart should/could play for “us”. I agree with the answer No 48. In the german translation (of Richard Wilhelm) it is the “well” and it says “You can change the town but you cannot change the well”. The “we” I am talking about is the people who “drank/drink” from this well although they are situated in very different “cities”.
As far as I can see you and I disagree about the importance and effect of "ancestral movements”. For me it is still “moving" and I understand my work as having a root in the history, movements and personal relationships starting with Awe, through Roy Hart, Paul/Clara, Marita, Jonathan/Rosemary to name the most important in my case. It is more than just the influence of thoughts. Yes we do choose our teachers! And the “we” could be described as the people who choose a teacher who choose a teacher who choose Roy Hart as a teacher?!

When I quoted Roy´s “enjoy your self, not your ego” I only wanted to claim that he was not that far from Awe in his ideas than it sometimes sounds in what you write. But Awe himself was not just a follower of Jung. Maybe Jung´s influence on him sometimes is exaggerated by “us", too. He for instance starts his “Orpheus” with a critical remark on a student who did too much of Jungian dream analysis that lead her into difficult directions. And the dreams and experiences Awe himself had with Jung tell that they never really came together.

Embodiment: Yes, a lot to explore! You mention this french tradition of Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze. I would add ancient chinese thinking (and acting and practicing). In current neurosciences the word embodiment also plays a key role since about ten years and it would be very interesting to explore what they see and what they oversee in their concepts. I think of the aspect of different degrees of embodiment. And who if not “we” can add the fact that embodiment is something you can hear?

Beyond psychology?  What I mean is that in european psychology/psychoanalysis there is/was a strong tendency to look for problems and solutions “in” the client/patient and that if the clients change their self definition their relation to the world will change, too. In other words, the social aspect of life is only included in the effect that the self analysis would have (I know what I say is much to simple and rough). But the voice is always immediately and at the same time in contact with “oneself" and with the world (something Derrida has pointed out in “Voice and phenomenon”) The starting point is moving in two directions and contacts. The exploration of the voice can lead to a concept that is positioned before (not historically but logically) the modern differentiation or split of psychology and sociology had happened. Listening to ourself is not a mere personal thing and listening to somebody else is always informative for the listener.
I found some inspiring ideas around the problems of the split between psychology and sociology in the french tradition following Marcel Mauss and his writings about the “don”, donation. Alain Caillé´s book about the “Anthropology of donation” was very instructive for me.

Thank you for the two memories about Roy and his words about “transmission” from Awe, and the story with Grotowski! I like both stories very much. My first thought about Grotowski´s reaction was: Did he sense the ancestral authority so strongly because Roy used not to acknowledge Awe´s role for him as much as would have been appropriate? I remember Sheila telling that she sometimes was so angry about Roy because he on some occasions claimed the whole idea of the voice work as being his without mentioning Awe.
Transmission: I don´t want to open the whole question about how and when new teachers should get the permission of teaching in the name of Roy Hart (or whatever it will be called in the end), but I like the way transmission is understood in Buddhist contexts. There you have (at least) two forms of transmission. Your main teacher can give you a transmission that allows you to teach and to create your own style and way of teaching the “dharma”. This includes becoming part of a lineage and this is independent from the question if you want or plan to teach or not. And then you can receive transmissions for studying specific texts, meditation practices or topics. These transmissions sometimes include an authorization to teach these things, but this is not the main issue. In other words: One can and should learn from different teachers but the main transmission has to be from the one teacher whom you “follow” for a while. And the question whether this transmission is meant as an invitation to teach is not the central point. This is another idea than the one “we” seem to follow in the discussion about the teacher training. And I think it would be interesting to consider the idea that teaching and training teachers is not the only and maybe not even the most important way of transmitting the work “we" practice.

so far for now!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

more about voice performance


 (this time only on english)

some thoughts about: Voice in (my) Performance Art

As a performance artist I try to find spaces inside of the realm of performance art in which the human voice can appear as a medium that doesn´t just transport musical material or language but has an impact by itself. Where is the place for the human voice in fine arts? This is the question that gives orientation to a lot of my artistic activities.

You can distinguish between performances, that use voice as one tool beside others (somebody sings or recites a text etc.) and performances, in which the human voice has a much more important role that is similar to the role of the human body in performance art. Then the creation of the performance or the performative situation starts with the voice and with a question or an idea how the voice would act in a special situation. This second form is what I call voice performance.
Sometimes the performative situation with its demands and requirements is also site specific. The space with its atmosphere and history has an effect on the way my voice moves.

When I talk about the voice I mean the human voice with all its tonal possibilities. Sometimes this idea of the voice is called „extended voice“. The voice implies much more sounds than we normally use. But every sound has the potential to be part of an artistic creation. My research as a voice performer is looking for new artistic forms in which all the sounds that my voice wants to show can be heard in an artistic way – without being music!

I work very rarelely with amplification or recordings, because these devices change the space very much. If you send your voice into a microphone you add a new space of listening to the original one. This is sometimes confusing and destroys the power of the original space. Listening to a voice means first of all being in a common space with other human beings. Through electronic tools this space becomes artificial. Sometimes this can be interesting, but in my work it is often better to let the original space resonate. Only then a voice performance can become site specific.

In my performances the audience is invited to leave or stay as long as they want. The relation to the public is one of the crucial issues for my work as performance artist. I want people to listen to what is happening in the space with my voice, leaving behind the idea of music. You can listen to me more in a way you would watch a sculpture. Maybe you just pass by hardly noticing what you see/hear. Or you get curious and stay for a while, maybe sit down and let the sculpture get in contact with you on different levels. Then the audience becomes a part of the atmosphere and the situation. The movement of the voice will change through this presence.

In a voice performance I stay in deep contact with the different dimensions of my self: my body, my inner situation, my reactions on the outer situation. At the same time I leave my voice as free from myself as possible. I don´t want to express my feelings or thoughts or pain or whatever. I try to give my voice the space to move freely while, at the same time, I stay in deep contact with everything that is happening inside and outside. Strong connection and big freedom.

In my performance series „Dao Series“ I work with mind material from ancient chinese thinking, mainly in Daoism. I use concepts like „the colourless voice“, „emptiness“, „beginning“ as they are understood in the chinese tradition and create situations in which I connect myself and my voice with one of these concepts. The artistic question is: How does my voice react on these ideas? These performances can be pretty long, from one hour to a couple of days (with breaks in between). I often need this time to enter the situation and to let my voice move more or less independently from my habits and intentions.




Thursday, 24 August 2017

Jerry Lewis as a voice artist

With Jerry Lewis not only a great actor, comedien, clown, dancer and film director passed away but also a great voice artist. His voice was able to do some pretty extraordinary things. And Lewis didn´t learn or make them through a voice technique but through absolutely incorporating one of his personas: the child (actually a number of different children), the clown, the idiot, the singer etc. He went into a role with his body, mind and soul and the voice was free to follow and join the party. Impressive....

Monday, 14 August 2017

What is a voice problem? Was ist ein Stimmproblem?


english below!!

Was ist ein Stimmproblem?


In einem Artikel des Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/10/adele-vocal-cord-surgery-why-stars-keep-losing-their-voices?CMP=share_btn_fb
nimmt der Autor Bernard Warner eine Konzertabsage von Adele aufgrund von neuerlichen Stimmproblemen zum Anlass, ganz generell zu diskutieren, warum so viele Sänger und Sängerinnen in allen musikalischen Sparten heutzutage so oft ernsthafte Stimmprobleme bekommen und was dagegen gemacht werden kann.
Gute Frage! Die Antwort auf den zweiten Teil der Frage, die Bernard Warner in seinem sehr lesenswerten Artikel vorbringt, läuft auf die Alternative Operation oder bessere Stimmtechnik hinaus. Viele Gesangslehrer raten aus guten Gründen von Operationen an den Stimmlippen ab, andere glauben, dass darin zumindest eine gute zusätzliche Maßnahme zu sehen ist. Im Fall von Adele, die sich 2012 nach einem Totalausfall der Stimme hat operieren lassen, hat die Vorhersage der Stimmlehrerin Lisa Paglin, dass die Problem wieder auftauchen werden, wohl gestimmt. Das Problem liegt nach ihrer Meinung bei Adele und den tausenden Sänger*innen an einer grundfalschen Methodik des Singens. So lange die nicht geändert würde, könnten Operationen nur zeitweise ein Problem beheben.
Aus meiner Sicht als Stimmlehrer und –künstler in der Tradition von Roy Hart und Alfred Wolfsohn krankt die Diskussion daran, dass sie auf beiden Seiten ganz in der Metaphorik des Instrumentes hängen bleibt. Die Stimme wird betrachtet als ein Instrument, und die Frage der Heilung der Stimme wird reduziert auf das Problem, wie die Reparatur vollzogen werden soll. Muss die Hardware ausgebessert werden oder genügt es, das Werkzeug besser zu ölen und seine Handhabung besser zu trainieren? Das sind Fragen, die zwar nicht ganz ohne Relevanz sind, aber an dem eigentlichen Problem vorbei gehen. Die Stimme ist nämlich kein Instrument – oder etwas vorsichtiger ausgedrückt: mit der Instrumentenmetapher können bestimmte Aspekte des Verhältnisses eines Menschen zu seiner Stimme nicht beschrieben werden, und gerade die Aspekte, die bei Stimmproblemen wichtig werden, bleiben in der Vorstellung vom Instrument außen vor.
Bei einem Musikinstrument gibt es keine Zwefel darüber, wer hier Akteur und wer bzw. was hier das Instrument ist und gespielt wird (auch wenn große Virtuosen das Gefühl kennen, vom Instrument gespielt zu werden). Bei der Stimme ist die Situation anders. Denn manchmal macht die Stimme nicht das, was ich will, sondern das, was sie will. Die Stimme hat eine eigene Entscheidungs- und Handlungskompetenz. Deshalb ist es oft viel sinnvoller von der Stimme als einer Partnerin zu sprechen, mit der ich auf einer Ebene kommuniziere – im Gegensatz zum Verhältnis zu einem Instrument, das immer hierarchisch ist. So genannte Stimmprobleme zeigen sich aus dieser Perspektive als Warn- und Weckrufe der Stimme, die mir signalisieren will, dass in unserem Verhältnis etwas nicht „stimmt“. Je länger ich diese Signale ignoriere, um so lauter werden sie und um so größer wird die Gefahr, dass sie sich zu echten, also chronischen Stimmproblemen auf der funktionalen oder organischen Ebene ausbilden.
Doch das, was in dem Verhältnis zu meiner Stimme womöglich problematisch ist, spielt sich nicht in erster Linie auf einer technischen Ebene ab, sondern ist ein Phänomen, das den Menschen als ganzen betrifft. Um langfristig das Verhältnis für beide Seiten (Stimme und Mensch) gesund und lebendig zu halten, ist es nötig, die geistigen, psychischen und körperlichen Verbindungen in diesem Verhältnis zu erforschen und eventuell neu zu justieren. Ich muss erkennen, mit welchem Selbst- und Stimmverständnis ich lebe und erforschen, wo dieses Verständnis vielleicht nicht mehr meiner Lebenssituation angemessen ist. Der Königsweg dieser Erforschung heißt: der eigenen Stimme zuhören! Am besten mit der Hilfe eines Menschen, der Erfahrung hat in dieser Art des Hörens.
In diesem Prozess spielt zwar von Beginn an das Thema, wie ich mit meiner Stimme im Singen und Tönen umgehe, eine große Rolle, aber entscheidend dabei ist es herauszufinden, warum ich bislang auf eine Weise töne, die meiner Stimme nicht gut tut. Und da ist der Hinweis auf eine erlernte Technik in der Regel nicht die entscheidende und zufriedenstellende Antwort. Die Frage, wie ich singe, ist eingebettet in den größeren Zusammenhang meiner Konzepte, die ich über meine Stimme mit mir trage, anders gesagt, der Art und Weise, wie ich meine Stimme verstehe. Dieser Zusammenhang besitzt nicht nur eine individuell-persönliche Dimension, sondern auch soziale und kulturelle Implikationen. Nur so wird verständlich, warum es Zeiten wie die unsere gibt, in denen so viele Sänger*innen so große Probleme mit ihrer Stimme bekommen. Die Gründe können nicht nur auf der persönlichen Ebene liegen.
Zu dem Thema gibt es viel zu sagen. Für heute belasse ich es hierbei.





What is a voice problem?


In an article of the Guardian
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/10/adele-vocal-cord-surgery-why-stars-keep-losing-their-voices?CMP=share_btn_fb
the author Bernard Warner uses the cancellation of two concerts in London by Adele who again suffers from serious voice problems to discuss on a general level the reason why so many singers in all musical disciplines nowadays often get serious problems with their voices and what can be done about it.
Good question! The answer to the second aspect, which Bernard Warner puts forward in his very recommandable article, is the alternative: surgery or better tuning. Many vocal teacher advise for good reasons against surgery on the vocal folds, others believe that this is at least a good additional measure. In the case of Adele, who has been operated in 2012 after a total failure of the voice, the prediction of the voice teacher Lisa Paglin that the problem will reappear again, was obvioulsy correct. According to her opinion, the problem with Adele and the thousands of singers with voice problems lies in the basic method of singing. As long as that would not be changed, operations could only temporarily fix a problem.
From my point of view as a voice teacher and artist in the tradition of Roy Hart and Alfred Wolfsohn, the discussion suffers from the fact that on both sides it remains entirely in the metaphor of the instrument. The voice is considered as an instrument, and the question of healing the voice is reduced to the problem of how the repair is to be performed. Does the hardware need to be improved, or is it better to lubricate the tool and train its handling better? These are questions that are not entirely without relevance, but which don´t hit the real problem. The voice is not an instrument, or more cautiously expressed: with the instrumental metaphor, certain aspects of the relationship of a person to his voice can not be described, and the aspects which are important in the case of voice problems remain unaffected in the concept of the instrument.
In a musical instrument, there is no doubt about who is the actor and who or what is the instrument and is played here (even if great virtuosos know how the feeling of being played by the instrument). The situation is different with the voice. Sometimes the voice does not what I want, but what it wants itsself. The voice has its own power of decision-making and acting. That is why it is often much more meaningful to speak of the voice as a partner with whom I communicate on the same level - as opposed to the relationship to an instrument that is always hierarchical. So-called voice problems appear from this perspective as warning and wake-ups calls from the voice, that wants to signal to me that in our relationship something is not "right". The longer I ignore these signals, the louder they become and the greater becomes the risk that they will develop into real, ie, chronic, voice problems on a functional or organic level.
However, what may be problematic in relation to my voice is not primarily concerned with a technical level, but is a phenomenon that affects human beings as a whole. In order to keep the relationship healthy and alive for both sides (voice and human being), it is necessary to investigate the mental, psychological and physical connections in this relationship and possibly to re-adjust them. I need to recognize with what self- and vocal understanding I live and explore, where this understanding is perhaps no longer appropriate to my life situation. The royal road of this exploration is to listen to one's own voice! Best with the help of a person who has experience in this type of hearing.
In this process, the theme of how I deal with my voice in singing and sounding plays a big role from the beginning, but it is crucial to find out why I am acting in a way that is not good for my voice. And, usually, the reference to a learned singing technique is not the decisive and satisfactory answer. The question of how I sing is embedded in the wider context of my concepts that I carry with me about my voice, in other words, the way I understand my voice. This context has not only an individual-personal dimension but also social and cultural implications. This is the only way to understand why there are times like ours, where so many singers get so great problems with their voice. The reasons can not only lie on the personal level.

There is much more to say about these issues but I stop for now….




Saturday, 29 July 2017

Following: Dao Series No 5

english in green
Im Rahmen des 7. Internationalen Festivals für ephemere Künste "Contexts"  in Sokolowkso/Polen habe ich vom 21. bis 24. Juli 2017 eine Stimmperformance mit dem Titel "following" durchgeführt, die ich im Nachhinein gerne als Nr. 5 in die Liste meiner Dao Series aufnehmen möchte. Die Beschreibung bzw. das Konzept der Performance findet sich oben in dem Text.
Eine Dokumentation des Festivals gibt es in Kürze auf der website http://www.sokolowsko.org/en/.

Ort meiner Performance war ein kleiner Raum im alten Sanatorium von Sokolowsko, dessen Ruine Schritt für Schritt von der insitu-foundation wiederaufgebaut und zu einem Kunstzentrum umgestaltet wird. Ich war offenbar der erste Künstler, der in diesem Teil des Sanatoriums performen durfte.

In the context of the 7th International Festival for Ephemeral Arts "Contexts" in Sokolowso / Poland, I conducted a "Voice Performance" titled "following" from 21 to 24 July 2017, which I would like to add to the list of my Dao Series. The description and concept of the performance can be found in the text above.

A documentation of the festival will soon be available on the website http://www.sokolowsko.org/en/.


Place of my performance was a small room in the old sanatorium of Sokolowsko, whose ruin is going to be gradually rebuilt by the insitu-foundation and transformed into an art center. I was apparently the first artist to perform in this part of the sanatorium.


Durch die Wahl dieses Raumes wurde "following" für mich zu einer starken Erfahrung der Begegnung meiner Stimme mit einem historisch sehr aufgeladenen Ort. Dieses Thema der sitespecific voice performance drängt sich in meiner Arbeit gerade sehr in den Vordergrund.
Through the chosen space, "following" became a strong experience of meeting my voice with a historically very charged place. The topic of the sitespecific voice performance is curently very much in the foreground in my work.




 Zur Zeitmessung habe ich zwei verschiedene Sanduhren benutzt: am ersten und letzten Tag eine, die ungefähr eine Stunde läuft und am zweiten und dritten Tag eine die ca. 15 Minuten rieselt. Am zweiten Tag mit 4 Phasen, am 3. Tag mit drei Phasen.


For  time measurement I used two different hourglasses: on the first and last day one, which runs for about an hour and on the second and third day one which creeps about 15 minutes. On the second day with 4 phases, on the 3rd day with three phases.
Zu jeder Phase habe ich auf die chinesische Folie, auf der die Schrift nach ein paar Minuten wieder verschwindet, einen Begriff geschrieben. "following......"

For each phase, I have written a term on the Chinese slide, on which the words disappear after a few minutes. "Following ......"
Die Begriffe waren von mir vorher gesammelt worden und stammten entweder aus meinen Überlegungen zum Performance-Konzept oder aus Anregungen, die ich von anderen Performances während des Festivals bekommen habe.

The terms had been collected by me before and came either from my reflections on the performance concept or from suggestions that I got from other performances during the festival.
1. Tag:
following the beginning - eine Stunde lang mit meiner Stimme in die Situation hineinforschen.
2. Tag:  
following breath - an meinem Atmen orientiert
following oxygen transporting proteins  - ein Begriff aus einer Installation von Katy Connors; dabei habe ich die meiste Zeit mit meinem Pulsschlag gearbeitet.
following memories of the day - mit dem Versuch, die Erinnerungen des Tages innerlich wach zu rufen. Das war nicht ganz einfach, weil es zu viele starke Eindrücke gegeben hatte. Dieses "Zuviel" wurde dann Thema.
following listening - mit der Idee, dass ich alle akustischen Ereignisse, die an mein Ohr dringen, auch bewusst wahrnehme.
3. Tag:
following breadtaking boxes - eine Anspielung auf zwei Performances des Tages, in denen es um Brot (Ines Amado) und um Holzkisten (Franzisca Siegrist) ging. Das Bild der zu kleinen Kiste/Schublade, in die man gezwängt wird, war sehr präsent.
following memories of the air - eine Anspielung auf die walking performance von Robert Bean und Barbara Lounders, die davon sprachen, dass die Luft alle Erinnerungen trägt. Eine sehr beunruhigende Erfahrung, mit den Erinnerungen der Luft zu arbeiten. Die waren nämlich ganz gefüllt mit dem großen Feuer, das das Gebäude vor ca. zwölf Jahren ziemlich zerstört hat!
following Pol.  and  ? - mein Versuch, aus dem Raum in die aktuelle politische Situation in Polen auszugreifen, in derja gerade die Unabhängigkeit der Justiz von der Regierung beseitigt zu werden droht. Die Phase hatte eine starke Dramaturgie von langem, ungeduldigen Warten über Klage und Anklage, Kampf und Schmerz bis zum Gefühl von Fragilität und Versöhnungswille. Diese "Geschichte" war nicht geplant und hat sich aus der Situation und dem Pfad der Stimme ergeben.
4. Tag:
following contexts - mein Versuch, die verschiedenen Kontexte, die bislang in der Performance auftauchten, zu sammeln und noch einmal in den Raum zu bringen. Das ist mir nur ansatzweise gelungen, weil der Raum selbst, in dem an dem Abend durch den starken Regen das Licht nicht funktionierte, und wir nur von drei Teelichtern spärlich beleuchtet saßen und standen, sich sehr ins Zentrum rückte und ich mit meinen Erinnerungen und Gedanken eigentlich nicht aus dem Raum raus gekommen bin.



1st day:  
Following the beginning - one hour exploring with my voice into the situation.
2nd day: 
Following breath - oriented to my breathing 
Following oxygen transporting proteins - a term from an installation by Katy Connors; I worked most of my time with my heartbeat. 
Following memories of the day - with the attempt to recall the memories of the day inwardly. It was not easy, because there were too many strong impressions. This "too much" was becoming a theme.
3rd day: 
Following breadtaking boxes - a reference to two performances of the day, which involved bread (Ines Amado) and wooden boxes (Franzisca Siegrist). The picture of the box / drawer, too small, was very present. 
Following memories of the air - an allusion to the walking performance of Robert Bean and Barbara Lounders, who spoke of the fact that the air carries all the memories. A very disturbing experience to work with the memories of the air. They were filled with the big fire, which destroyed the building about twelve years ago! 
Following Pol.  and  ? - my attempt to reach out to the political situation in Poland, in which the independence of the judiciary is currently threatened by the government.
The phase had a strong dramaturgy of long, impatient waiting moving to complaints and accusations, struggle and pain, and to the feeling of fragility and reconciliation. This "story" was not planned and has resulted from the situation and the path of the voice.
Day 4: 
Following contexts - my attempt to collect the different contexts that have so far appeared in the performance, and bring them back into the room. This was not really possible for me, because the room itself, where the light did not work in the evening due to the heavy rain, moved itself very much into the center of my awareness. We had three tealights that gave very little light, so we sat in darkness more or less...






Der Raum war für die Masse des Publikums, die zumindest zu Beginn da war, eindeutig zu klein, aber anscheinend war die Akustik auch außerhalb des Zimmers sehr gut und man konnte meiner Stimme auch von dort folgen.

The room was clearly too small for the mass of the audience, which was there at the beginning, but the acoustics seemed to be very good outside the room and you could follow my voice from there.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

performance vs. improvisation

english below:


Heute habe ich beim PAErsche  Lab17 http://paersche.org/portfolio/paersche-lab17-performance-art-conference/ in Köln ein kurzes Gespräch mit dem Stimmperformer Ferrando Bartolome geführt und danach eine Performance von ihm und Boris Nieslony gesehen und gehört, bei der die beiden alten Performance-Hasen mit der Stimme in Kontakt getreten sind.

Bei beidem, dem Gespräch und der Performance kamen für mich und meine auch künstlerische Partnerin Agnes P. die alte Frage auf, wie sich Stimmperformances zur Improvisaton als künstlerischer Form verhalten. In unserer Arbeit im stimmfeld versuchen wir, beide Formen getrennt voneinander zu betrachten, obwohl es natürlich Überlappungen gibt. Doch die Improvisation ist in erster Linie eine musikalische Form und die Art des Zusammentönens beim Improvisieren folgt musikalischen Prinzipien des Hörens und des aufeinander Reagierens. In der Stimmperformance, so wie wir sie verstehen, passiert etwas anderes. Wir versuchen auf der einen Seite mit den Ohren so offen wie möglich zu sein für die stimmlichen Ereignisse, die im Raum auftreten. Aber die Stimmen bleiben weitgehend aktiv im Rahmen der Vorgaben, für die ich mich für meine Stimme entschieden habe. Dadurch passieren unvorhergesehene und unvorhergehörte klangliche Begegnungen, deren musikalischer Charakter frühestens beim Hören entstehen und nicht schon durch die Art, wie ich (eben improvisierend) auf einen anderen Klang reagiere. Damit ist nicht verhindert, dass es zum Zusammenklingen von Stimmen kommt und die Performer diese Momente miteinander auskosten. Das freie Spiel der Stimmen miteinander hat auch hier seinen Raum. Aber uns interessiert es mehr, über die oft sehr strengen Vorgaben, die wir unseren Stimmen machen, zu klanglichen Ereignissen zu kommen, die bei einem musikalischen Herangehen sehr unwahrscheinlich wären.
In unserer CD Wellen Laenge haben wir damit experimentiert. Da gab es einerseits sehr strenge Regeln des Atmens und der Art, wie wir einen Stimmklang beginnen oder enden lassen; zugleich haben wir sehr konzentriert auf unsere beiden Stimmen gehört und dann aber den Stimmen die Freiheit gegeben, in diesem Rahmen zu agieren und zu reagieren. Hier ein Klangbeispiel: https://soundcloud.com/hoerfeld/expansion-1


Today, at the PAErsche Lab17 http://paersche.org/portfolio/paersche-lab17-performance-art-conference/ I had a short interview with the voice artist Ferrando Bartolome and then saw and heard a performance of him and Boris Nieslony, where the two old performer came into contact through the voice.In both, the conversation and the performance to me and my artistic partner Agnes P. the old question arose how vocal performances differ to improvisation as an artistic form. In our work in stimmfeld, we try to consider both forms separately, although there are, of course, overlaps. But the improvisation is, above all, a musical form, and the way in which the improvisation takes place follows musical principles of listening and reaction. In the vocal performance, as we understand it, something else happens. On the one hand, we try to be as open as possible for the vocal events that occur in the room. But the voices remain largely active within the framework of the guidelines for which I have decided for my voice. This leads to unforeseen and unforeheard sonic encounters. If there is also a musical character in it will be reckognized  at the earliest through the listening of the audience (and the performer), and not by the way I react (improvised) to another sound. This should not prevent the voices coming together and the performers to enjoy these moments together. The free play of the voices with each other has its own space. But we are more interested in the sounding of the often very strict requirements which we make to our voices, which would be very unlikely in a musical approach.In our CD wave length we experimented with it. There were, on the one hand, very strict rules of breathing and the way in which we begin or end a vocal sound; at the same time, we have been very focused on our two voices and then have given the voices the freedom to act and react in this context.

Here an example: https://soundcloud.com/hoerfeld/expansion-1

Friday, 16 June 2017

old blog, new role

From now on I will use this blog not just to report my artistic activities linked to old chinese thinking but to express my thoughts and ideas about the whole field of voice and art. The archives of my Dao Series is still available and there is good hope that I will add more performances and experiences that are connected to the Dao Series.
I will try to write this blog mainly in english, sometimes with a german version, sometimes not. I am happy to receive comments and questions.