Originally I wrote the ‘Chiaroscuro’ piece as a the first part of a series of three texts discussing conversation with this piece looking into what might happen if a conversation of some importance goes awry. I then re-appropriated this same text as a script for radio when working toward my final Masters piece to see how such a piece could ‘work’ on the radio. Using a medium where listeners are used to hearing fresh content everyday, I played this piece for 8 days consecutively at the same time in the hope that the listener would get a sense of what was to come over that time. I then began to experiment with soundscapes such as this particular piece in which I have overlaid different readings on top of each other.
The original piece was recorded by many people to see how the script would be ‘translated’ from the page by each of the performers. When I gave the script to these performers I gave them no indication of ‘how’ to read it the idea being that this freedom would allow for greater input from each of the performers. This is why there can be such a huge discrepancy in terms of length/pace/emotional investment from each of the performers you will hear in this piece.
The fumblings for words, the pauses while each performer reads ahead on screen/page can be difficult to listen to and in this context the silences are intended as an example of the notion of ‘ear-strains’ in spoken word that Steven Connor has spoken of.
Each piece remained unchanged from whichever rudimentary form of recording device/software it was created in until this point in the experimentation process. I have not edited any of these readings I have simply created a ‘chorus’ of voices for this piece so as to bring in questions of ‘hearing voices’ and to hopefully extend the idea of ‘chaos in the mind’ further.
Looking at the state of mind of an individual using technological references (such as ‘the communicating without wires’ moment) and ‘received’ stories – such as the like of the dog episode in this piece which feels like a moment spent exploring an urban myth- is I think an interesting method of exploring the notion of ‘autobiography,’ which is what many of my works have dealt with. Hopefully this work in particular takes on some of what Gregory Whitehead is looking for from this form by using this approach of overlapping truths/awareness and mental health issues when he states in his ‘Speleology’ essay,
“The goal of radio text is not to distort or impress, but to bring deeply buried desires and insights back into the light”.
The speakers are
Amy Delgado, Jenny Wellwood, John Barnes and Takako Kido.