On February 4th I’ll be performing the results of a one week residency working with the community of Maunula district in Helsinki, Finland, at the opening event of the new ‘Saunabaari‘ centre in Maunula. Produced by M-Cult. #soundsandstorieslive
For this recital titled ‘Sounds And Stories Live – Folk Tales and Orchestrated Yarns’ I’ll be using the prepared knitting needles which were developed for my MATA NYC commission. The needles are attached to my custom made interface and when the knitting needles touch, whilst knitting patterns, they trigger sound files from my audio library. These sonic segments are played just as randomly timed as the knitting needles connect, creating murmuring textures of sounds. A fabric of life.
My audio library includes field recordings I’ll be making on location during my stay in and around Maunula. The soundscape sounds will create the musical accompaniment to a folk tale that will be narrated by a storyteller, much in the way that a pianist would live soundtrack a silent movie. Up to eight performing knitters are dedicated instruments forming a musical ensemble, each one associated with a different sound from nature. If a performing knitter hears their ‘trigger’ word, for example ‘the WIND blew’ they will start knitting and a gale will sound as part of the soundtrack experience as the story unfolds.
The performance is intended to conjure up images and feelings of sitting together around a bonfire, recounting tales of our ancestors and the creatures that live beyond our perception, while the forces of nature whirl around us outside, adding to the stories’ cinematography. The selected field recordings will not only compose the sound of the performance, but also provide a document of the local sonic environment, archiving the sound of the current world this folk tale performance is situated in.
Middle panel of image above is a detail taken from an illustration from ‘The Mighty Mikko’ (1922) by Jay van Everen. Outer panels are traditional Scandinavian knitting patterns.
photo by Minna Tarkka