Instrumentation: 3 female voices, dancer, fixed media
How do we define interpersonal connections in the time of social distancing?
When the piece was first conceived, it was going to be performed as a multimedia installation performance housed in the beautiful gallery space at KANEKO, Omaha. It was going to be built around a multichannel speaker setup and projector screens, encapsulating the audience member in an immersive environment shared with the performers. It was going to be a piece that confronts the boundaries of our bodies, celebrating its desires and sensitivity, examining its limitations and protectiveness. It was going to challenge our perspective on the corporeal-spatial understanding of music performance, it was going to be about inhibiting a live acoustic feedback environment, and it was going to be about choreographing sound’s movement in space as activated by moving performers.
It was about coalescing multiple threads of observations into one amalgamation. And then it wasn’t.
When the world suddenly hit pause, live performances became a memory as distant as a sweet dream that evaporates. No longer planned as a piece to be performed in space with a live audience, the piece began to pivot towards addressing the topical concerns of confinement, limitation, and solitude. It was heading towards experimentations on collaborating over internet latency, grids of little video boxes in gallery view, compressed audio and video quality, 2-dimensional human interactions, and the unsettledness of a never-ending sheltering in place.
Looking back to the journey of the work, the best way to describe Amplified Traces is that it never ceased to be about the people involved in the project, and the implication of the human condition. It is about how, despite all the restrictions and distances between myself, members of Quince, and Veronica, what connects us is a wish to complete the creative journey we set out all those months ago, in our rigorous discussions about the boundaries of the female body, and the borders that confine it. It is about asking:
How do we sing and move to comfort ourselves in times of uncertainty? How do we find solace in our own intimate spaces? What secrets are we trying to conceal when our public lives encroach on the private?Why do we seek to reach beyond borders and across the tyranny of distance, even if it sometimes costs lives, evokes violence, and further separations?