Culvert, Robinson College, Cambridge
Inferno (final section)
Cambridge Free Improvisation Society/ Jeremy Hardingham & Co.
video will be uploaded soon. for the moment, sound at: http://www.mediafire.com/?cmtfdja3ew9 (if you dare)
David Curington – oboe, misc percussion
Nathan Bettany – oboe, xaphoon, misc percussion
Daniel Larwood – electric guitar, potato peeler
David Grundy – laptop, recorder, voice, misc percussion
in conjunction with
Jeremy Hardingham & co. – performative acts, screams
the ‘ideas’ part (from initial workshop discussion)
ideas of space in hell – a confined space, you can’t get out. being trapped inside a body, inside yourself cf. ideas from music therapy about improvisation being about listening to other people, and mental patients are so trapped – trapped inside too much self-expression, unable to get out of their own little world, unable to listen to what other people are playing when improvising with them because so self-absorbed, and the improvisation helps them see that they are that absorbed.
self, empathy – dante as not just ‘I saw this, I saw that, I’m going to tell you about it’, but a more collaborative relation with the reader. the extent to which he cannot express, or understand the torment he witnesses – that he is an outsider (e.g. that when he cries the tears are the right way round, flowing down his face rather than his buttocks, but in the place he’s at, that’s actually not the norm). passages in Canto III about the groaning of sinners. the second tercet revolves round ideas of words and language, and I thought interesting here how would be something where you can tell that
Sighing, sobbing, moans and plaintive wailing
all echoed here through air where no star shone,
and I, as this began, began to weep.
Discordant tongues, harsh accents of horror,
tormented words, the twang of rage, strident
voices, the sound, as well, of smacking hands,
together these all stirred a storm that swirled
for ever in the darkened air where no time was,
as sand swept up in breathing spires of wind.
(Kirkpatrick translation, Canto III, l. 22- 30)
lack of relation and intelligibility – hence the use of the cut-up words. idea of things too horrible (or wonderful) to be expressed in words, but dante tries it anyway. so trading off between on the one hand this excess of expression (the mental patients thing) and a complete lack of expression – or of anything to express. in that sense hell merges with limbo – so it doesn’t just work off one specific text but off various different ideas which coalesce (or contradict) in potentially interesting ways.
those were some initial ideas, anyway. the performance itself, who knows…