Time & Location
About The Event
BLIP is an archeological-listening performance experience that will inspect sound and how we make sense of reality with our listening from the time we are conceived in the womb. He attempts to re-sensitise our senses by deconstructing tools within music and re-formulating a sonic experience that can be created from them.Dramaturg's notes
In philosopher Erich Fromm’s The Art of Listening, the top two of six guidelines for listening are set out as follows:
1. The basic rule for practicing this art is the complete concentration of the listener.
2. Nothing of importance must be on his mind, he must be optimally free from anxiety as well as from greed.
In this aurally experiential work, contemporary composer and musician Christoven Tan begins his sonic excavation with a blend of recorded vocals, environmental and digital sounds, set against the live human voice and a live viola that digs deep and constantly pushes its limits in performance, further driven by questions of listening:
If we were to return to the womb, how could we trace the origins of our capacity for listening? What do you reckon we could have first seen with our ears?
What forms of listening have we buried in our biology, forgotten after the foetus has evolved, having been sufficiently satiated for survival?
The polyphony which follows and demands our complete concentration, traces through three principles in the composition: first, we find ourselves inhabiting a womb-like cocoon transformed with red light in a darkened setting. Here, a single violist stands, beckoning us with his first principle: to dissociate from predictable patterns of aural gratification.
Second, once our sense of reality has been sufficiently displaced, we shift into a principle that tests both the limits of intensities and distortion, accompanied by audio effects. Here, the viola and the voice at turns take on maternal and machinic qualities, calling forth resonances and dissonances that both echo and advocate frictions between the organic and artificial.
The third principle, is where we ruminate the genre of noise where Christoven’s viola exceeds traditional approaches to music. Here, expect our listening capacities to be stretched vibrationally and violently. Even so, this confrontation is always persuading us to keep an open mind – to in fact, see with our ears, to merge sense and non-sense, as we witness Christoven’s body as an instrument, the body becoming viola.
Immersed in this embryonic soundscape of structured improvisations, we are coaxed to isolate listening as the main sense to train our attention on, in the hopes of unearthing forgotten and latent ways of listening. To enter into Christoven’s crimson chamber of sonic spectrums is to (re)conceive one’s sensitivity to the primal experience of sound. Here, a single violist stands recapturing, restoring, reimagining what we have once heard. These are his excavated findings. Let the listening body gestate.