coro do tempo (choire of time)

before Video Play

Text by Claudia Galhós

Words: Alwynne Pritchard

In the white sheet on the wall where Alwynne Pritchard wrote the name of the idea she wanted to explore, we can read: “some people are overlapping”. What does she mean by this?

Alwynne started by choosing a 3 minute video recording of Rui Horta presenting Convento da Saudação, his choreographic centre O Espaço do Tempo, and his idea about TryAngle on the very first day of warm up, saturday, september the 8th. These are some of Alwynne’s ideas about this experiment:

“I chose the excerpt of Rui’s presentation of the convent on the first day because.. I think because is a description. Because is already self-referential, is a description of a place we are already in. I guess is defining parameters in a way. Is saying: ‘this is what we are going to do, this is what this place is’. I guess is the least poetic possibility it could have been. Then there is a lot of scope to look at what it is and was, and say ‘ok, this is what happened, this is what this place is…’ At the same time, something that seems very simple when you have it described from different perspectives, might become not necessarily simple but more.

The moment I heard Rui talking I had a flash. Because I think each one of us, when we arrived here and were walking around, was thinking: what is it gonna be like? So, is interesting to hear him tell that to us, in a way trying to put our minds at ease. I am looking for something, wondering, and he is telling me about this place…, and I am thinking, ‘ok, this is the thing I am gonna use, this point where he is describing’. It seems like a solid firm point to use and to destabilise.

What I like to do when I am doing a music theatre pieces is getting musicians into a room and then begin to see what happens with what they do when they arrive before they even start working on the piece. That is a very interesting material. In a way, I am giving them a decoy, pretending we are doing work on one thing, when actually I am working on something else. But that is different from what I am doing here.

With musicians, in the case of the example I am giving, they feel comfortable doing one thing and they want to do that one thing and they are very trained to do that one thing. So there is a lot of stuff around doing that one thing: taking the instruments out of their cases or talking to one another. All this, when you put it into the context of a pre-concert situation, can be very poetic. And as for the musicians, they feel very relaxed doing it, and then if you can shed a light on those things and say ok… then they enjoy it to because their experience of themselves as musicians opens up. I guess in a way is related, when Rui is talking about this space and the possibilities of what will happen here, we are not doing it yet, he is preparing us for it. But maybe that is already actually it. So that idea was already there but I was not sure of how to use it. And when we were singing at night in the convent and everyone sang their songs at the same time, and thinking about the idea of the bullring and everybody singing simultaneously and making a choir. And then I started thinking of that idea related to the visual image and what actually happens if you could have a million people describing one same moment in time and get this kind of oral version of a visual thing. How big could it get? So, then I started thinking of putting those two things together.

I think my work of going from an idea of music into an idea of transforming it into some kind of materialisation of music, as I am researching in the project of making a piece of clothe that is a music score is related to this project. Here, there are three artists describing fragments of that 3 minute video, each one in his own way and with his own words, to get to a choir.

There is an assumed relationship between the making of music, the listening to music and the body movement. So, you have the movement of the musicians, you have have the mental and performative space, and you have the audience entering. And then you have a bunch of conventions that, in reality, you should not think about it. So, for me the pulling apart of the threads is ok. But we don’t think about the relationship of human body with musical notations. And we don’t need to think about it most of the time. But if one does think, it can be very beautiful.

I have no idea how I am going to make it, concerning the musical clothe. But the idea of actually using the contours of a body to find how you might read the time really appeals to me. There is a strong material physical weighty thing that can actually have a very direct relationship to how we might interpret the experience of time. It is related with this experience here, in TryAngle, of the ‘Video Play’, in the sense of how something very marginal can become something very central. It means working with the conscious that there is an assumed practice which implies that we don’t se a lot of other stuff besides the obvious. And I think assumed practices are great, are very important. But once we have it, we should see how we can shift that relationships. That for me is really magical.