A collaborative participatory arts project is an interesting undertaking for our team. I asked them all to tell me a little about their experiences so that we could get a complete picture of how the performance piece “What if… we had wings?” is taking shape.
The artist team, creating.
I very much enjoy working together with Anthony, David and Barbara. Often it is not that much about talking through our ideas, but working all together in the same room, hearing what the others are doing, and just exchanging a few thoughts is really important. We are all four of us working as authors, composing the same piece of music, which is a new experience for me. So we have to leave gaps for the ideas of the others, and also literally be silent sometimes so the music of the others has its place. We often use the same recordings as a starting point, but use them in quite a different way. What really helps is of course the feedback of the others. This gives me new ideas, and often courage to continue in a specific direction.
What does this project mean to me?
It means relocating from Dublin to Vienna temporarily, for our various block working sessions since the start of the project. I very much enjoy collaborating with my friends and colleagues, Barbara, Cathy and Anthony. In many ways, “What If?” is a continuation of a series of mixed media performance works that I developed with Barbara and Anthony each summer over the last six years at the Hilltown New Music Festival in Ireland. Each time we had just two or three days to compose, rehearse, and perform the pieces to the festival audiences. I like working that way, present ideas to an audience when they are still very fresh and spontaneous. We used violin/viola, field recordings, electronics, video, and some more unusual props and instruments, such as vintage record players, mirrors, and other found objects from the surroundings of Hilltown House. “What If?” had its first beginnings at Hilltown in summer 2013, where the four of us met for the first time as a group. Having a lot more time, and to develop the project on a larger scale is very exciting and I look forward to see where our creative journey will lead us.
What I like about this project (and about collaborations in general) is the way we are combining our various skills, characters and temperaments to create a work together. A work, which in the end will contain elements of of our individual practices as well as something that can only evolve from our process as a group. I consider the inclusion of the anonymous (online) community in the project as somewhat of a ‘wild card’. It will be very interesting to see how they might influence the outcome, and most of all, I hope to be able to meet our online contributors in person some day.