activating the gropius bau, sonically (2019)

While acoustic space is indeed all around us in every moment, it is experienced most often on a subconscious level; its acknowledgement is perhaps an indication of subjective psychological presence, confirming the depths which sound can access, depths which are indeed long forgotten yet still present even if buried deep within the human psyche and historical subject.  For the one living in acoustic space, life offers a more complete understanding of time, of universal ebb and flow, as opposed to the one living in Euclidean or visual space.  

In this unique sonic activation of the Martin Gropius Bau's large atrium, LABOUR hoped to evoke nothing less than the great latent potential of sound to access “sensations of spatial depth, inclusiveness, and absorption of the individual, which are all common to music” (Hanns Eisler & Theodor Adorno, 1947). This was pursued by saturating the large Lichthof with the unique sound of Juju bean shakers, performed by 33 percussionists who mapped out both the central room and adjacent spaces with sound as they moved in a specific processional composition, guided by low and hi drum hits which acted as signals to indicate pre-designed changes within the compositional flow.  This activation of acoustic space functioned in dialogue between 8-channel electronic sound and solo acoustic piano. 

direction and composition LABOUR
percussionists Colin Hacklander, Farahnaz Hatam and Tainá Moreno
piano  Anthony Pateras
performance and choreography  Isabel Lewis
styling  Marcelo Alcaide via Isabel Lewis with the support of Courreges
sound engineer  Baptiste Moulin
stochastic shaker ensemble  33x percussionists (names omitted)
ensemble pose direction  Isabel Lewis