portikus – theory of flight



photos courtesy of Portikus

Friday, September 28, 2012 – Portikus performance of ‘theory of flight’, which is a 7 part sonic depiction of the text ‘Theory of Flight’ (Teoria Del Vuelo) by Jose De Jesus Martinez, translated by Micheal Stevenson, published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walter K√∂nig, and included in his Portikus exhibition ‘A Life of Crudity, Vulgarity, and Blindness’. Each segment of this work is an improvised response that depicts themes and narratives found in the reading, from the mechanics of a plane taking flight, landing, and in air activity, to contemplation of life on earth, and all that transpires from love and joy to loss and sorrow. Titled ‘theory of flight’ 1-7, these movements are also named after the themes they depict in extracted text. They are: (1) ‘shaking off the lethargy’ (2) ‘a fragile universe’ (3) ‘moment without limits’ (4) ‘only their images and their memory remain’ (5) ‘the consciousness is an old battlefield, now empty’ (6) ‘navigating the heights’ (7) ‘the earth and me’.

For this work, I utilized guitars, effects / loop pedal, ipad with software synthesizer, and a moog LP (on which 8 patch sounds were created specifically for this performance). These instruments were routed into a mackie console which fed a 4 speaker sound system, thus creating an immersive soundscape. The console could then be also used as an instrument, with fades and transitions to assist in the aimed ‘filmic’ character.

Between these original performed segments, were interludes of music from Panama, during a height of cultural and musical activity in the 1960s and 70s. These tracks were also selected and compiled by their themes and congruences to the depicted text narratives.