iLand: Feedback & Final Impressions from Biba Bell
Thinking about sound and movement:
Often times when I’m dancing I experience this sense of conversation, ofÂ dialogue — drawing me into the moment, the space, relationships, etc.Â Working on the iLand project I was able to more fully explore and articulateÂ this dialgue with sound — sound as a medium, sound as a force, sound as aÂ description, a gesture, a piece of me.
Growing up in a house of musicians, I was raised to listen, and have alwaysÂ had a sensitivity to sound. (Now there is a level of subtle differentiationÂ in listening to music and soundscapes of the urban as we did the last coupleÂ of weeks, ways in which these types of listening are developed and andÂ maintained, and it was interesting to discover and deconstruct my personalÂ discrepancies.) Bringing myself to meet the music of the city I focused myÂ dancing, listenting body on the crosstown traffic, the children in the park,Â the smattering of bird sounds invisible in havens of trees, the sound of myÂ own breath and footsteps next to me, the geometric valleys and peaks ofÂ midtown, the oasis of the orchid store on 42nd and Park, and the sky expanseÂ of helicopters on the LI waterfront. To dance with this sound is truly a wayÂ to open up the little ears that inhabit each and every cell. The sounding ofÂ the city in my body makes it move.
How much sound can go through these limbs?
My presence changes the sound — as Pauline Oliveros articulated, IÂ participate with the sound. Sure, physically the sound waves are absorbed byÂ my mass, but also redirected. There was a certain level of alchemy thatÂ iLand led me to explore.
Sustainability. This was a big word in the last couple of weeks –Â incredibly descriptive. I look to unpack it. As I move through sound I giveÂ my ears a rest — like Hope was saying, moving can be a rest. I am able toÂ participate with the soundscape for greater duration, I reach into theÂ soundspace more, I am supported by this soundspace. The potential harshnessÂ of urbanity is toned, movement is this tonic…
Sound can be a command, a perlocution. I respond with movement, and involveÂ myself — it is a dialogue.
I love what Lise said about her interest in the relationship between investigation, or research, and a space of creativity. This is a rich and interesting question, and seeking where these modes intersect, as they most certainly do, along with the insight of these working artists, Hope and Michelle, and the community of people they brought together is something I most certainly will give all my props to iLand for….
P.S. A few days into the workshop I wrote this:
Sound this morning, it’s 5 o’clock AM. I lay in bed, barely conscious ofÂ escalating wind chopping sound projecting from above. Helicopters areÂ circling above. Coursing through the sky, what are they looking for?Â Sounds are a trigger, what are they looking for? I slowly awaken. SoundsÂ friction my sleep state, I am hot. Too hot to be comfortable. I get up,Â walk, lie down. A garbage truck comes by and adds itself to the symphony,Â roaming the path of gutters. The tone of rest has changed. I shiftÂ positions. My body feels different. I shift. The circling of helicoptersÂ fades. They’re off. I am aware of my back. It is softer. I shift. TheÂ sky sounds huge, heard in the echoes of eclipsing propellers. It is 6 AM.Â These sounds have moved me.