Spill Writing

Topographies (Dissonance)




(I want to dwell here for a long time, because history dwells here, in the spaces opened up by notebooks, by a revisiting of notebooks)


Dwelling in the vocal resonance, the dissonance, the poetic assonance, the landscapes internal and scraped, emerging and fractured, on the edges, drifting to the side, a shaman of sorts.


(The staccato voice that boils down, the textures of skin, the passing of time










Of Leonardo is a topography – an operatic experiment in which the voice is flight, recall, prophet; an essay that is sonic and spatial, experiential and conflictual – an arrangement of history, distortion, memories, an arena of history and presence. Dissonance is welcomed to the space; it fights and frets, and bounces, and strips through, an affectation, a kind of search for the passing of time.


It’s a brave confrontation, the work of a rationalist and dreamer, splatted in vocal echoes and intonations turned incantations, an operatic essay on ageing and death, somewhere in the dark, where ravens roam and eyes stare blankly as time unfolds.


Fragments of recognition (referential): a section in Da Vinci’s notebooks that deals with the perspective of disappearance (undulating, forced out sounds, drowning the body, gestural and faint); another on topographical notes. This is not a process of translation- and what translation is there, in a language that is written and sketched out, visual and introspective? This is a process of travelling – a journey, of sorts.


(Interference, an analogue voice, a kind of channelling of, or through, clouds and waves, concrete block grey and eyes, hollow and double)


What emerges at the intersection between the vocal and the visual, the poetic and the embodied- ghosts that cut the present, doubles that reside in between, rhythms and meaning emerging scraped and shaken.


(Image-making, blocks of encounters, drifting through the screen, falling on the body as it searches and shrieks, and shards of words come through, and they fall again in the pleasant abyss of somewhere, here and not quite here)


The sonic gains a different dimension: it rests on the body, it emerges through punctured movement, through dual vocal narratives; this voice and body, they are seismic, shifting, in sync with a projection that acts as a window elsewhere, growing in scale, moving from texture to place, from nature to the body.


(An image growing ever more textured, larger and larger, taking up space, in the same way in which Mitchener’s voice hits the ceiling and goes into the depths of history, emerges through the body, contorting and moving)


This amphibian voice is resonant, it fills the space, empties its range, vast and open, in conversation with the absent; and with the passing of time, the body becomes an agent, a mentor through other landscapes, and dissonance our guide – filling the space, hiding within it. The operatic is about what is entered into conversation, what is made tangible.


(what takes you a journey, and where you go)


Of Leonardo is a galaxy of sound and movement, but it’s guided by the voice, its tuning in and out of spaces, of communication- an arrangement in suspension, in holding difference through the chords of the body.


[I think about the importance of sound-led work, of the ways in which it calls for a different kind of attention, constructs a space whose shape is dissonant, political for the ways in which it articulates presence, multiplicity, being.


I think of the resonance of this work across the festival, from the immersion of Soundhide, the narratives of the natural in its precarious state, and our attention within it, to the soundscapes in Hom(e)age, in its poetics of containment, of removal of agency and of place. There’s a potent, powerful and resonant undercurrent, sound as spatial poetics, a merging of being and listening, of occupying multiples, of claiming some agency]


– Diana