WHERE IS THE PERSON WITH SIXTEEN PARTS?
created and performed in July 2016 for:
PLACE | HATCHAM
St. Catherine's Church Hatcham,
Telegraph Hill, London
“Sounds Between” Festival,
Ivy Arts Centre, Surrey University.
Part of ‘Music Composition as Interdisciplinary Practice’, a research-creation network funding by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC)
Cello / voice - Roxanna Albayati
Flute / voice - Nicole Trotman
Clarinet / voice - Gabriele Cavallo
or Barnaby Goodman
Trombone / voice - Henry O'Brien
Movement / voice - Scout Creswick
or Katy Ayling
An identity can be thought to be constructed by the sum of its parts, yet these are never stable, they’re ever changing. When we examine an object phenomenologically, its qualities are modified every single time we look at it according to its placement in time and space.
The title of the piece is taken from the last question in the Prashna Upanishads, sacred writings used in the teachings of yoga. However, the practice of postural yoga, currently offered by the Telegraph Hill Centre, has had its meaning appropriated and redefined throughout the centuries. Yogins practiced postural contortions in meditation, yet these were once considered austere and regressive. Comparably, Saint Catherine of Alexandria also welcomed martyrdom through pain and torture in the name of her faith and beliefs.
Is it still possible to think simultaneously of the sacred, the profane, the authentic and the other? St. Catherine's Church is an embodiment of this impossibility of a cohesive, singular entity. Parts often collide and dissonances occur; yet new possibilities and encounters are prone to take place. By turning friction into fusion, a contorting exquisite shape may be created.
The work features a collage of various pieces collected through suggestion and research on the history of the place. Super-imposition and transparencies occur after the breakdown of parts into fragments, sixteen in this case, allowing for a deeper understanding through combinatorial possibilities. From the Latin religare: "to tie, to bind together, to make sense of".