Becoming Imperceptible

Becoming Imperceptible is a new work commissioned by thirtythree-45, Droichead Arts and Drogheda Arts Centre, for the podcast series Where Are We Now?

Becoming Imperceptible
Listening to ancient narratives
Remembering last works, repeated like secret commandments
Invisible, intangible swarming, inaccessible, intimate variations
10 minutes
½ an hour
Scarcely an hour
Innumerable ancestors
Deserted street
Short distance
Painful slowness
Distant station
Infinite imagination
Past and future
And another time:
Every one imagined

Under the increasing pressures of lockdown, of unease, of uncertainty and worry, of searching for an escape, of finding a change, of being the change, and of perhaps sensing a release, we are wandering. Becoming Imperceptible is in memory of David Connolly (1983-2020), inspired by Deleuzian ‘lines of flight’ and utilizing an original text inspired by Louis Borges The Garden of Forking Paths (1941). A radiophonic escape, a freedom explored through the process of artistic practice. Fluid yet fragmented, vanishing, searching for a liberation from the compulsory, there is no goal or starting point. We are in the middle, experimenting, combining, dismantling, becoming imperceptible.

I’ve been focusing on the short story by Jorge Luis Borges for the last year and it seemed to fit with my memories of David. As David’s anniversary was at the same time that Brian Hegarty contacted me about producing a work, I created a text. I have no audio recordings of working with David Connolly but, I did have some recordings of an organ/cello/voice improvisation with David Bremner and Elizabeth Hilliard. In addition, I gathered some recordings of strings, played by Sylvia Roberts, Randal Devine, Aine O’Neill and myself, and a phrase spoken by Martina Murray. The instrumentation was perfect, creating the basis for my sound sketches in Wwise and Reaper.

I arranged a basic structure: 0:00 – 0:55 Intro; 0:55 – 8:25 1st section; 8:25 – 13:00 2nd section; 13:00 – 15:00 3rd section; 15:00 – 24:15 4th Section; 24:15-31.30 Outro.

Once I’d mapped out the background sound world I knew the time was right to add some recordings of the text. When I had originally contacted the instrumentalists for permission to use the older recordings I’d also asked Elizabeth if she might also record the text. She had agreed and produced some amazing variations of the text for me to work with. You can hear them in sections 1 and 3. The organ, strings and vocals are a feature of the 4th section and outro.

Becoming Imperceptible was broadcast as part of the podcast: Where Are We Now? #1 and is available here

Where Are We Now?

Where Are We Now?

Invited artists / sound-makers are asked to make a work for radio, based on the theme ‘Where are we now?

The title is inspired by the David Bowie song of the same name. The song is reflective and nostalgic, a case of man looking back on a life that once was, when the future is uncertain.

As the Covid pandemic has thrown all our lives into flux the question ‘Where are we now?’ seems even more poignant. In these unprecedented times, we have all found time to reflect on the now and more importantly on the ‘what can be’.

Where are we now? is a question? To be interpreted through sound for radio.

Each work will be at least 30 minutes long and can range from sound collage, voice, ambient, avant-garde, field recordings, electro acoustic or a hybrid of different forms.

The pieces will be a deep listening experience, encouraging listeners to expand their conception of narrative and musicality.

Where Are We Now? #1 Claire Fitch and Diarmuid MacDiarmada

Where Are We Now? #2 Orla Wren and Norman Westberg

Becoming Imperceptible will be broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM, 12th August. 2021. The Blue Of The Night.

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