Chris sings The Speed of Darkness (screenshot)
O yay! ‘ScOtt WaLkEr meet MuRieL RukEyseR’ is out, the next episode of Christine White’s series about her Throat of These Hours composition process. Excited by Scott Walker’s Bish Bosch Chris asks: What can I see as linkages that lead me to want to reference my discovery of Walker with my discovery of Muriel? Then explores the linkages under three headings: Form, Silence and Viscerality. Check it out here. I’m so blessed to have a composer alongside me, whose work I love and with ideas that stimulate and challenge me!
And, last week editor John Conly, DOP Jess Charlton and I worked on clips to accompany some posts that Chris and I are going to do for the Muriel Rukeyser Living Archive. Coming soon. Exciting!
Also on the way, Muriel’s never-published novel, Savage Coast, from The Feminist Press.
And, at last, I’m about to start the next draft of Throat of These Hours. Scary, but I can’t wait. A big thank you for the inspiring feedback so far, from all over the place. Alongside Chris’ work, the wonderful support from John and Jess, and generous ongoing responses from my daily writing buddy, the feedback helps me to breathe more fully and to go deeper.
It’s out! Chris has written the first of two posts about her composition process for Throat of These Hours. A treat. Here’s one excerpt I love.
So here is the initial sound palette:
1. Voice – the title of the play gives it away – Throat of These Hours – and Muriel’s question in the context of her poem – “Who will be the throat of these hours?”. The play explores two women who, for various reasons have struggled with their art-making…Meredith has long since given up on writing poetry, and Tina is trying to discover her own voice through following the writings of Muriel and setting them to music.
The throat – the sounds of the throat can be many and varied…and can communicate a variety of emotions – the feeling of constriction, of not being able to speak/communicate – throat clearing, trying to make a way through obstacles.
Even the act of sighing and iterations of the breath can give signals as to the state of mind of the communicator – the body in the act of communicating, or trying to…
As this is a central theme in the play, and seemed to be a theme in Muriel’s own writings, I thought it is an obvious instrument. Its use in the presentation recording isn’t as subtle as it could be in the context of the whole play.
I think now of the film The Sixth Sense, and in watching a documentary about the film. In terms of sound design, the breath was used in layers – many many layers…human breath, animal breath – sometimes pitch shifted and slowed down – always running almost as if in the subconscious of the film – creating an undercurrent signal of the afterlife.
You can check out the fascinating rest of the post over here, on Chris’ blog MOLLY PLANET RAW FOOD – RAW SOUND [discoveries and experiments] And her second post will be about influences…