this song is made by dancing. It is found, not told. Words are rendered unto non-sense in/through the force of a body. Of my body — the force of feeling retells the non-sense into world through the song. Meaning is wasted away as words become armature for something else. Some feeling. Something far away and far more vivid than the fixity and sanctity of language. Something under language. Something before it. Something languageless is awakened in my body in those rare moments in which “nothing” is made sensed. Carrier. Song. This song is made by dancing.
I am making songs by dancing.
This work is a transduction. A dance that begins, so very small, on the [choreographic] surface of the fretboard and ends in leaving my body, heading elsewhere.
This work displaces the choreographic motor of the dance to the song, and the motor of the song to the dance. Primarily though, this work is about feeling, emotionality, and speculation. (however I do not mean a speculation as towards a future [this is not a political projection]. This is not a project. This work is about being almost. And remaining as such).
This work is new. and exciting for me.
I picked up the guitar when my grandmother died in 2008. But I never took it “seriously”. The guitar was another place I could go to feel things. A private place. Private because I just was never too good at playing in general and playing with others was far too terrifying. Its privation was also helpful. Alone, I could make whatever noise until any roommates or neighbours had had enough. Over time the guitar became a “pit” for thought and feeling — a noisy space in which I could throw my body and fall endlessly.
I started playing an electric guitar in 2018 when I renovated my garage into a studio apartment and for the first time since my childhood found all my “stuff” in one place. The force of amplification propelled me backward to a “primal” register of my artistic practice — reminding me of my early fascination with destruction, death, and decay in those “do what you can” days that only a couple of us have had a chance to forget. I called these first dances with electric guitar “play until broken” as I would play continuously until my hands bled and I would “sing” (scream) along until my voice could no longer follow. I have only recently, since becoming close with someone who has worked on cadence, learned about stopping.
And then COVID-19 hit and my actual work as a dancer ceased. And so I began leaning heavy into the guitar as “that place I could go to feel” that otherwise I would be able to attend through dancing.
I should note here two projects that have led to this work:
no record is a band I started in Toronto with EJ Smith and Tura Cousins Wilson from 2014 -2016. The idea of that band was that I would improvise lyrics “in search of a title” for the song while Smith (guitar) and Wilson (drums) would improvise music together along “tight” repetitions of melody and rhythm. This work would help me study the intermeshed “goopy” sensations of emotionality, force, and speculation — a work I continue here with this new project [carrier: songs made by dancing]
Grass Feels Is a work I produced at Das Choreography through 2016 and 2017. I grew grass in wooden beds that could amplify sound on which I would then lie and play guitar and sing. This solo practice, in researching this emotional “goop”, I was at the time calling “sin[g]k[in]g” would go as follows: I would record a reading of a texts aloud. Then I would listen to the recording. Then I would jam on the grass, trying to “push” my body “into” the “goop” (which I would also record). Then I would transcribe that recording. Then I would record myself reading my transcription. A fun filtering of thought through the body — I found it useful to compare the transcribed “jam” to the original referent text to position my thoughts and feelings.
Now the year is 2021 and I am starting to take this work more seriously. I am still not sure about its place. However I am quite certainly “dug in” to a practice. Which I will share here. And am calling
carrier [songs made by dancing]