Documentation of a month of performance at the installation
Installation in memory of Magic who died on March 14, 2013 and in honor of the volcanic explosion that broke the old static crust (Hélène Cixous).
Tomb Womb is a musical piece built from two essential components: Barbur gallery’s space and sixteen voices. Ayelet Lerman has an intimate relationship with Barbur’s space. Partially due to the musical activities that she performed in it, and mainly to its unique acoustics that allows for a range of subtleties and sensitivities of sound. In that sense Ayelet sees the gallery’s space as the inner space of her body. Inside the body, as far as to its most remote corners, echoes the pulse incessantly. Inspired by this non stopping pulse she recorded meditative sessions. Each session was a certain beat with the word Tomb or Womb or both or the silence in between. From the recorded material sonic sketches were built that express their own shape through spreading in the gallery’s space for a certain amount of time via sixteen speakers. For instance, a simple rhythmic structure in four quarters moves as a spiral at the gallery’s space during a minute and a half.
The recordings were made with the inexhaustible courteousness of Lars Sergel.
The event on facebook:
The musical installation has opened last Friday and I was very moved. Now that the Purim holidays are over, I am starting to understand the work and myself in it with a fresh view. It felt wrong to stop working once the piece is actualized and standing. Therefore, I have decided to treat it from today not as a fixed installation, but rather as a live space for artistic activity of myself and of visiting artists. I will be present next to the installation on all the days of its activity (Mon-Thurs from 4pm to 8pm, Fri from 11am to 2pm) until the 11th of April and will continue to pour music into it.
In addition, visiting artists will come to converse with the installation via their art. At the end of each day of activity I’ll share with you what happened and who is to come.
I’m inviting you to take part as visitors at the gallery and as partners to this journey log that this is its first entry.
Hoping for a journey into the unknown ~
Such a heartwarming and intriguing reply! The days of the installation are becoming filled with the presence of visiting artists – following this entry you will find an updating table of the visits.
It seems as though the installation virtually asked for my presence: first day without technical problems in the opening!
I added some music, Masha arrived for the second half of the day, and Israel Eliraz who performed at Wire Tapping in the evening gave me a sea of inspiration to inquire poetic structures, sonnets’ structures especially, into abstract music – interesting what will it yield! Afterwards I got very drunk at the opening of the Mizkaka and that’s why I’m writing to you only this morning…
Beginning of Spring! The Jerusalem Marathon!
Exciting! The installation days are almost full – seems that there’s something about it that invites it. Tomorrow, Tuseday, the first hosting event will take place: Julia Plastic State (Nitai Levi on Bass Clarinet and Phone, Lars Sergel on Stuff and Computer, and me on Viola and computer) will play with the installation for 4 hours. Also the bestest Humus of Nitai will be to eat.
Today it seemed that the working of the installation has turned it into a sound sculpture – the new piece of music that I’ve added a couple of days ago seemed to be ejaculated by the installation and I reutrned to the original loop. Friends came to visit and eat together – was fun ~
It was interesting and super tasty yesterday! The presence of a permanent element that has to do with the heart beat opened and closed directions in our music. And also playing in darkness is always very stimulating. Before we started I had a philosophical conversation with a visitor so my mind philosophized into the music.
Lars the king took out excerpts from each session – here are the links:
Yesterday was calm. Today Faye Shapiro and a part from the Neharot voice group will arrive for 3 hours of vocal work with the installation. Tomb Womb is at the ceiling of the gallery. The voices are at human height. On the floor with a quadrophonic sound system I will sample the voices and play with them. He encounter will move between a monologue, dialogue and a trialogue. From 5:15pm to 7:45pm.
Some of the voice group, Neharot, lead by Faye Shapiro, came to play with the installation – they triggered many associations and as of this moment the witches of Macbeth won’t leave my mind.
Here’s a link to a bit from yesterday:
Today I didn’t come to the installation but I thought about it like this:
I never saw that you did painting need / And therefore to your fair no painting set;
I found, or thought I found, you did exceed / The barren tended of a poet’s debt;
And therefore have I slept in your report,
That you yourself being extant well might show
How far a modern quill doth come too short,
Speaking of worth, — what worth in you doth grow?
This silence for my sin you did impute,
Which shall be most my glory being dumb;
For I impair not beauty being mute,
When others would give life and bring a tomb.
Their lives more life in one of your fair eyes / Than both your poets can in praise devise.
Shakespeare, Sonnet 83
And like this:
who lounged hungry and lonesome through Houston seeking jazz or sex or soup, and followed their brilliant Spaniard to converse about America and Eternity, a hopeless task, and so took ship to Africa,
who disappeared into the volcanoes of Mexico leaving behind nothing but the shadow of dungarees and the lava and ash of poetry scattered in fireplace Chicago,
who reappeared on the West Coast investigating the FBI in beards and shorts with big pacifist eyes sexy in their dark skin passing out incomprehensible leaflets,
who burned cigarette holes in their arms protesting the the narcotic tobacco haze of Capitalism,
who distributed Supercommunist pamphlets in Union Square weeping and undressing while the sirens of Los Alamos wailed them down, and wailed down Wall and the Staten Island ferry also wailed,
who broke down crying in white gymnasiums naked and trembling before the machinery of other skeletons,
who bit detectives on the neck and shrieked with delight in policecars for committing no crime but their own wild cooking pederasty and intoxication,
who howled on their knees in the subway and were dragged off the roof waving genitals and manuscripts,
who let themselves be fucked in the ass by saintly motorcyclists, and screamed with joy,
who blew and were blown by those human seraphim, the sailors, caresses of Atlantic and Caribbean love,
who balled in the morning in the evenings in rosegardens and the grass of public parks and cemeteries scattering their semen freely to whomever come who may,
who hiccuped endlessly trying to giggle but wound up with a sob behind a pertition in a Turkish Bath when the blond & naked angel came to pierce them with a sword,
who lost their loveboys to the three old shrews of fate the one eyed shrew of the heterosexual dollar the one eyed shrew that winks out of the womb and the one eyed shrew that does nothing but sit on her ass and snip the intellectual golden threads of the craftsman’s loom,
Howl BY ALLEN GINSBERG
It was fascinating yesterday with Shira Green who shot some raw materials to screen insde the installation’s space. At the attached link you’ll find a segment of a short phrase joining a piece of the installation’s sound and a segment of the footage.
Today voice artist, Faye Shapiro will visit from 6pm to 8pm ~
Yesterday Faye came to sing and I played on the computer with her voice(s) ~
Here’s a sample:
Today Avigail Sfez will come to dance for 4 hours at this dark dark space (4pm to 8pm). Every once in a while she’ll use some lighting equipment such as charismas lights or sparklers and sometimes she’ll dance in the dark.
Hard and difficult was at the installation today – it coughed and embarrassed me so that I had to turn it off and on.
Avigail slowly gave in to the darkness and an intimacy was achieved by experiencing her dance in the dark. That moved my attention to the high (too high?) level of intimacy of the installation itself.
Today Masha Zusman will visit for 2 hours from 6pm to paint on a wooden board and live sound will enter for the first and only time into the installation’s veins.
More from Faye’s visit:
Will You Remember Me / Faye Shapiro
If I lay me down to sleep
If my form will vanish, free
(and all my testifiers disappear),
will you remember me?
If I had given all my heart
and left my field wild and unattended
and let your leaves cover my mouth
will that ever change you?
Excuse the delay of this entry: up to the last minute there are changes of what’s about to happen today.
The session with Masha was exciting and Dionysian, hence I chose a long segment of 36 minutes — I’ll be able to upload the lik only tonight at the next entry of the log.
Today Or Sini (Double Bass) and Eyal Nezer (Saxophone) will come to play with the installation for about two hours from 4:30pm to 6pm. Later I’ll stay alone with it.
It is the final week and some curious visits are expected:
Tomorrow, Tuseday, Hadas Ophrat will do a performance especially created for the installation, called “Woodpecker”, and it will happen in the night hours from 9pm to 11pm. Before that (4pm to 8pm) the installation will work normally unless I’ll be tempted to play with it.
On Wednesday Guy Yizhaky will put up a video installation that translates the sound into visuals on the ceiling of the gallery.
On Thursday Yaniv Schonfeld will come to play with the installation and I will probably won’t restrain myself and join him in order to organically flow from it into Wire Tapping that will take place on that evening.
Friday which is the closing day will be relaxed and friendly ~
As promised, here’s the link to a segment from the session with Masha:
Or and Eyal flew for a straight hour with, on and above the installation ~
Here’s a link for a few chosen moments where the installation is more shadowed but Or and Eyal are simply wonderful (thank you!)
Today will be normal and at 9pm will start Wodpecker, a performance by Hadas Ophrat
Apparently something right is happening with this installation: yesterday Hadas performed his performance “Woodpecker” that he created for Womb Tomb and in which he pecked a hole in gallery’s wall for two hours. It was such an exact action for the installation and an impressive sound work. At a certain moment the sound of the pecking inside the gallery was soft and outside it echoed all around the gallery. Hadas reached a hidden window in the outer wall. It took me some time to realize what will be the suitable way to transmit a documentation of it and I’ve decided upon a video that is based on the soundtrack of the happening in the installation. It isn’t ready yet – to the next log entry it will arrive along with a documentation of today’s expected visit of Guy Yizhaky.
Guy will set up a screening on the ceiling of the gallery that constantly and randomly adjusts itself to the installation’s sound. He will reach the gallery from around 5pm to 8pm.
Link to a video abstract of the performance “Woodpecker” by Hadas Ophrat:
It was real beautiful with Guy ~
Here’s a link to a segment: https://vimeo.com/91590965
Today Yaniv Schonfeld will come to make a musical activity on and with the installation with and without me. He’ll start at 4pm with an unlimited by time session of a remake of I am sitting in a room by Alvin Lucier,
Named: I am sitting in a womb
The original text by Alvin Lucier:
I am sitting in a room different from the one you are in now. I am recording the sound of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the room again and again until the resonant frequencies of the room reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of rhythm, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the room articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth out any irregularities my speech might have.
My take on the text – not for use at Yaniv’s action, but inspired by it:
I am sitting in a womb same as the one you are in now. I have recorded the sounds of my speaking voice and I am going to play it back into the womb again and again until the resonant frequencies of the womb reinforce themselves so that any semblance of my speech, with perhaps the exception of RHYTHM, is destroyed. What you will hear, then, are the natural resonant frequencies of the womb articulated by speech. I regard this activity not so much as a demonstration of a physical fact, but more as a way to smooth in my personality to disappear in the womb.
11/4/2014 : End
The children of the next door’s kindergarten are on Pass Over holydays so the last day of Tomb Womb was very relaxed and quiet. It seems as though the thing lived for a while and it feels as though that’s what I wanted.
Link to Yaniv’s visit – instead of fragmentizing it, this time I’d put it all in a row: 1 hour, 6 minutes and 44 seconds of “I am sitting in a womb”; from it we moved to an improve session on viola and no input of 36 minutes; and than continued to an improve also with Tome Damsky on a tin foil and Ayala Shamir on cello, I on computer and Yaniv on electronics for another 50 minutes. The evening continued to continue but that is for the Wire Tappers
I am filled with gratitude