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Nathan Jones and Tom Smith at Electronic Voice Phenomena
  • Nathan Jones and Tom Smith at Electronic Voice Phenomena
  • Nathan Jones and Tom Smith at Electronic Voice Phenomena

Nathan Jones and Tom Smith at Electronic Voice Phenomena

12/01/12 Live
by Nathan Jones

The first showing of a new work with a vocal performance and text by Nathan Jones, and audio setting by Tom Smith.

The full audio is available here.

Video clip here

The aim of the peice is to enact a new dynamic between language and technology, producing an unsettling poetic performance, which complicates the relationship between artist-technology-audience.

This peice was performed on a bill of new performance-writing, featuring Holly Pester, Mark Leahy, Emma Bennet and Soriah, at the Bluecoat's C&V festival in Oct 2011.  The peice was also subsequently performed at Modern Art Oxford with London Poetry Systems, and at Brunel University, and it will be developed for a small tour in 2012.

Mark Leahy was kind enough to provide this subjective, impressionistic peice of writing on the performance...

"the figure walks on alone - clutching a bundle of paper / a book / newspaper cuttings ... he places these - loosely distributed on a table; he moves up to the microphone stand / edges into it - at an angle, draws it towards his body ... the microphone is live - it is pushing out sound, noise, a mix and layering of material, voices reading speaking with dirt and grime over it - it reads a text on/of Romanticism (Coleridge on the imagination?); Nathan Jones speaks into the mic against this flow of sound, pushing it back, shoving his voice into and up the pipe to hold back the flood of data, of information, of signal ... he speaks and reads and repeats and does so with energy, curling round the mic-stand, hugging to it, and pressing and holding, he rocks, his body working with his voice ... and when he draws a breath / pauses ... the sounds flush out again, sweeping past him into our space, and we hear crackle and hum and the voice tells us things, it informs, it imparts news, it has this character of authority ... and then it gets pushed back again, as Nathan resumes his rhythmic jabbing and jamming with a text of impressions and story and fantasy and suggestion ....
and behind him a projection screen jumps and scatters with highlighted and carved words, plucked from the run and spill of text, pixelated and pulsing, as Mark Greenwood types and selects in response to the struggle between two sound/ voice channels ...
and this verbal swell carries threads of myth and legend, flickers of stories glint and emerge, then are swept back into the ebb as other lines and words and echoes swamp them ... are we in Wales, are we travelling through mountains in the company of poets, walkers across hills and through a storm? a storm in the valleys that blurs past and present, ancient and contemporary, letting rhythms and particles of folklore swirl up into a rainy escarpment, with markers of post-industrial disruption and the beat of nearby cities mashing in crunching sound gears ...
and the voice carries a passionate edge, it cries against the storm, it sings into the noise scape, humming and throbbing onwards and further, and as he presses up to and into the opposing waves, so he remains in place, here, in play, in person, with us ... away in the dry-ice cloud of voicing, and here in the room, the voicing body..."