Two unrealised ideas
Blind Poetry - (April 2006)
Blind Poetry is a collaboration between a Braille reader and a writer, where the result is Braille concrete poetry.
Riffing on the conventional understanding of concrete poetry as visually iterating a poem's meaning through its typographic form and its presentation on the page, in this context the term also refers to the 'concrète' of 'Musique concrète' - where sounds from real life form the source material for a sound art work.
Tactile, barely visible and brought to life by its unusual syntax, such poetry plays with the contradiction between the aesthetics and functionality of communication.
Blind Poetry is conceived as one fifth of a 'five sense sensorium' event. Each element of the event consists of audience collaboration on a new work relating to one of the five senses, exploring visual and physical communication forms that do not privilege speech as the basis of language.
Audible Activity - (June 2007)
I would like to disrupt the socio-economic orthodoxy, acoustic privileges and musical expectations of the BBC Proms.
I propose an alternative day at the BBC Proms - it will be a day of sound art works, where all seats are the same price and the audience must move to a different part of the concert hall after each interval, on every hour.
Diffused over a multi-channel sound system carefully erected in the Royal Albert Hall, the programme will consist of a combination of existing and specially commissioned sound art works. The programme is made of four parts, each 40-45 minutes long.
Audience members decide whether they begin with the most expensive seats in the Grand Tier Boxes or the cheapest at the top in the Gallery, and where they will move to at the next interval. Perhaps they will brave the vertiginous angle of the Rear Circle seats, an opportunity to look down at the stage or sit in the 'composer's hot seat' in the Centre Stalls.
The movement is not just physical, it means that one can experience the Royal Albert Hall's acoustic from several sonic perspectives, as the metres of drapes, fibreglass-sound-reflecting-mushrooms-on-the-ceiling, and the mass of bodies can dampen sound in parts of the auditorium like a black hole. The event also provides an opportunity for chance meetings: who would be sitting in the loggia box at the same time as you?
A democratic aesthetic experience, an event to test the obedience of the polite concert-going public, Audible Activity inverts the notion of audience passivity, at least in a physical sense.