ArtPlay, Melbourne, 2013

with Alice Hui-Sheng Chang and Rosalind Hall

Photos copyright City Of Melbourne

Binaural Nodar, Portugal, 2011

 with Alice Hui-Sheng Chang

Participation supported by Arts Victoria

The source material for this composition was recorded in and around the villages of Nodar and Sequeros in central rural Portugal during a residency hosted by Binaural Media in 2011. In going to Nodar we wanted to engage with the young people living in the region and consider their relationship to local myths and stories.
Our starting point was an open invitation to meet for a storytelling session. This was attended by the senior female population of Sequeros and a group of young people from neighbouring villages. Following this, we facilitated a number of voice workshops with a group of eight teenagers. In finding common ground without language, we focussed on Alice’s practice of extended vocal technique as a means of representing the shared stories. The possibilities of non-lingual voice became our shared exploration ground, with the stories forming a frame of reference for imagination and play.
The phrase ‘end of the world’ (fim do mundo) came up a number of times during the storytelling workshop. The women were referencing a village in the region that was home to a sorcerer and has since been abandoned and burnt down in a fire. Coming back to our Nodar recordings after 18 months to create this work, the memories of our experiences in Portugal were vivid yet distanced, as was the lost village to these women.
Nigel’s attendance at the residency was supported by the Victorian Government through Arts Victoria.