Introduction to the project by Robert Miles-Kingston.
Aftermath 2 is a exploration of our exposure to and processing of traumatic information, both personal and abstract.
Abstract: Our ability to accept traumatic information through media
Personal: Our ability to cope with grief and the loss of loved ones.
Presented in 4 acts.
Act 1: Event
Act 2: Comprehension
Act 3: Reality
Act 4: Metamorphosis
Our aim is to raise funding for a 1 hour film of a live performance installation and once built, to tour the installation in spaces around the world.
Origin and background.
The project began life as an Audio installation after the catastrophe on the East Coast of Japan on 11th of March 2011.
In 2013 I was asked to design an installation for a sound studio at the old Anglia TV studios.
The concept for the installation was to be ‘What is human in our information age?’
In a world where information is pervasive, omni-directional, non linear, invisible and intangible, but which effect us so directly in all aspects of life, how is our humanity coping with this revolution? How does media overload affect our ability to process all information, both abstract and personal?
The theme for this concept would be the disaster in Japan.
Having married into a Japanese family who live in Tokyo, the events around the Earthquake, Tsunami, eventual Nuclear disaster at Fukushima and their aftermaths had a profound effect on me.
Not just the speed, severity and enormity of the devastation, but also the event’s short lifespan in our media and conscious awareness. The event commanded an immediately powerful, global press, but within a week or so was replaced by more mundane, celebrity focussed stories. I wanted to explore the process within the contemporary human mind which enables us to cut off from extreme, traumatic events and move on.
With this concept in mind I set about creating an Audio landscape for an immersive audio installation.
Aftermath 2 grew out of this.
The creation of the audio landscape was also a study. Composing on Logic software, I decided to try a composition technique borrowed from William Burroughs and David Bowie, but with sound instead of words.
Each instrument timeline was ‘cut up’, juggled at random and reintroduced onto the timeline. The effect was a random collection of new sounds and textures that I was forced to collaborate with.
I wanted to explore the creative process, by initiating a relationship with information that was as close to anonymous, impersonal and unpredictable that I could make. I wanted a process that mirrored the concept of the installation. A relationship with the abstract.
Music, sound, and their colours, textures and tones have many associations in us that we grow up with and accept as 'normal'. There are established formulas that make us laugh, cry, exhilarate or pacify etc. I wanted to explore our traditional relationship with these and see if there was a way to break some of these rules by using this technique combined with new digital sounds.
Then my parents died and that changed everything.
The process suddenly became profoundly and deeply personal and I found it very difficult to work on.
I found myself evading and avoiding any contact with the piece, particularly the audio.
In my efforts to break the rules I found myself succumbing to the sounds I created emotionally. The piece suddenly became linked with my personal grief and another narrative opened up.
It was this personally traumatic narrative that Travis SC Knight encouraged me to explore and our journey together really began.
We started work on an immersive installation with dance with 2 parallel narratives , personal and abstract.
The parallels started to leave together and the work started to become an exploration of denial.
The original Audio installation was a dark space around a dry wishing well. The visitor approached the wishing well on an amplified floor which sucked their footsteps into the soundscape. When they threw a coin into the dry well and made a wish, their wish dries up. The sound of the coin and their footsteps to and from the well echo away into the distance.
We wanted to echo this visually and so created the concept of the cube.
The Cube is a large black walled entity filled with blinding white shifting lights and a low frequency sound that produces inaudible rumbling tremors through the floor of the installation.
Its black walls have tiny, hairline fractures that lets the viewer see the immense power that is stored within.
It is the centre of the installation. It is both an attractor and a repeller. A thing of beauty that instils the desire to approach, but combines a fear that makes one want to avoid.
With the cube, we wanted to mirror such entities as the nuclear core, the human centre of consciousness, the potentiality of an idea and the singularity of an event as it happens, before consciousness can evaluate it,identify it, name it and categorise it. The cube is all those things that can spark a beginning through creation and/or destruction. But above all it is Potential.
The cube changes as the performers move across it.
This is what we aim to build for our installation.
First work 1978 as Singer, guitarist and composer for Punk Rock bands Tenpole Tudor and Wild Crash 500.
Recent installations and exhibitions.
2009 Divine Mortality, London SE11 ('paintings')
2008-2011 Missing Works 1,2and 3.Albert Embankment and Millbank. Installations
2008 -2010 'Anti Commercial Breaks' 11 short films for Glastonbury Left Field. Under the name 'Embryomix'.
2012 Positive Neglect Solo Exhibition Farm Lane Fulham London. Paint and installation.
2012 Hacking and Smooching. With David C West and Penelope Diaz The Bread and Butter Gallery Islington.
2013 - present. Aftermath 2. Audio installation + Instant Compositions ( piano works under the name 'Embryomix' ).
2015 'If you could un-break a heart'. Music for 'Draftworks' by Wayne McGregor, performed at the Royal Opera house.
Born in Cape Town, he moved to England and later studied at the Arts Educational School, graduating in 2009. While there, he won awards for dance and choreography both within the school and outside, including the National Youth Ballet and the International Dance Competition in Spoleto, Italy. Since graduating, he has performed in Matthew Bourne's Swan Lake (world tour) and in the 3-D film of the ballet. He has worked with Michael Clarke on his 2011 Tate Modern Turbine Hall dance installation, th, and with Tavaziva Dance, performing in Double Take (2011) and Sensual Africa (2012). He has also performed with A.D. Dance and Combination Dance. He joined Company Wayne McGregor in 2013.
Trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, he graduated in 2011 with a first class BA (hons), and was awarded The Marion North Award for outstanding achievement in performance. Before studying he competed as a gymnast for 10 years, representing Great Britain at the World Gymnaestrada Australia (2007). He has worked with choreographers including Darren Johnston (Underdrome, Roundhouse, 2009), Gill Clarke, (Amidst, In The Moment Festival, 2009), Patricia Lent (dancing the Merce Cunningham solo in a revival of Cunningham's Scramble), Kerry Nicholls (Ave Maris Stella, Royal Festival Hall, 2010) and with Meridian Brass (a collaborative piece to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Festival of Britain). From 2011-13 he danced for Richard Alston Dance Company, and also performed in Dance Umbrella 2011, working with Robert Cohan on the revival of In Memory, and in the The Bride and the Bachelors exhibitions (Barbican, 2013), working with Jeannie Steele on a collection of Cunningham's works. James joined Company in 2013.
Elly trained at Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, graduating in 2011. She has performed works by Gary Lambert and Kerry Nicholls’ Ave Maris Stella, a commission for Purbeck Arts Week 2011 in collaboration with Meridian Brass. In 2011, she performed at the Royal Festival Hall for the 60th anniversary celebrations for the 1951 Festival of Britain. After her apprenticeship in 2011 Elly became a full member of Richard Alston Dance Company.
Ellen graduated from London Contemporary Dance School in July 2011, having previously trained at Tring Park, School for the Performing Arts. On completing her BA(Hons) Ellen joined Tavaziva as an apprentice dancer, part of the Postgraduate Apprenticeship Scheme at LCDS. She has toured with WatkinsDance since June 2012 within the UK and Italy, and in spring 2013 took part in the Barbican Exhibition ‘dancing around Duchamp season’, performing Merce Cunningham repertoire curated by Jeannie Steele.
Ellen has worked with IJAD Dance Company on their project ‘Infinite-space’, and last year completed her MA in Contemporary Dance with Distinction. More recently Ellen has become a contemporary dance teacher for the Tring Park Associates, a guest teacher for the main school Tring Park, and workshop leader for Tavaziva’s extensive education programme. Ellen joined Tavaziva as a company dancer in September 2012.
Sample the Audio on Soundcloud:
Random Dance/Travis SC Kight and James Pett
Richard Alston Dance Company. Elly Braund