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Monday, 4 July 2016

A Performance with Epiphany at the Whitworth

This was my first collaborative performance with Epiphany who improvised with french horn, electric harp, cello, viola, flute and more, while I drew in response, resulting in my largest and most physical drawing performance to date.

Watch films of the performance
2 minutes by Andrew Brooks
8 minutes by Epiphany 

I wanted to work with Epiphany as I felt they were already blurring the lines I had been edging towards in Drawn to the Beat and my previous performances. I was struck by the fact that they moved among the audience as they played, and as I drew in response to them the first time we met, they would immediately and instinctively move closer to me and begin to respond back. These explorations in movement and increased call and response were amplified in our Whitworth performance.

I think of the music as a space I enter, a room in which anything is possible, many things are sensed and felt there and most are forgotten the moment the music stops. Here Epiphany made that space cathedral like with their scale and varity of sounds, and I felt myself responding with more intensity as a result.

Blind (focusing fully on listening, I never look up ) I sought out the different sources of sound, drawing towards them. Afterwards looking back at the photos and film it is almost a surprise to see the familiar form of a person with an instrument, knelt or stood alongside me. In the moment the sounds were just parts of this shifting, shimmering space, gently pushing and pulling me to be moved and to draw.

Afterwards people said they were trying to work out who was following who at which point, looking out for the shifts in control. I am always listening, taking in the sound as a whole or getting lost in individual parts of it. The musicians also respond at times to my actions, here we meet head on and will often get stuck in a loop until one of us breaks it off. Then there are those indescribable moments when we are working totally as one, and I am careful then to be as unconscious as I can, so as not to break the spell. It is at these times that the very tip of my finger, or the edge of the charcoal becomes like an anchor, perhaps the only thing preventing me from pure dance, or even flight.

Further images available here
Photography and film by Andrew Brooks

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