Yi- Ling Wo
The act of making is often at the core of Yi’s practice, the correlation between the ways of making and a chosen subject matter is often one of the most asked questions along the process. Although the meaning of an item is bound to change through time, the nature of its materials or the logic behind a setup are often determining factors of what the piece represents, and the initial interaction in making an image/object is often unavoidably part of the subject matter itself. The reality of a visible subject matter often becomes the question when it is not derived from or related to the process itself, and sometimes as time passes and when the outer subject matter looses significance, it becomes the vehicle for delivery. What is significance of a subject matter, the only immaterial presence that is set within imagery and physical objects? This dilemma has for a long time been a subject of interest for Yi-ling Wo.
Wai- Nok Angela Hui
Wai- Nok Angela Hui is a London- based percussionist, finished her Master of Music in Performance with distinction at the Royal College of Music. She was one of the percussion finalists in the BBC Young Musician of the Year 2010. She has performed with the BBC Symphony Orchestra through the Pathway Scheme, and has performed across the UK, Europe and Asia as a soloist and chamber musician with renowned musicians, such as Nebojsa Zivkovic and Theodor Milkov. She searches for the unexplored possibilities between classical music, musical theatre and art; collaboration with different people; incorporate a multitude of instruments and styles. She has performed pieces by Karlheinz Stockhausen, Helmut Lachenmann, Vinko Globokar, Pierluigi Billone, Georges Aperghis and Mark Applebaum.
The project is inspired by the visual language within musical notations of the piece Mani Gonxha, where gestures, volume and speed of movement are all precisely indicated in the form of specifically designed signs and labels; one evening the two friends started discussing the translation that has taken place. How does the language within these graphic notations differ from traditional key signatures and scales, how does a classically trained musician receive these abstract graphic diagrams as precise instructions? Other than instructions that are received and performed, what is the scope of this abstract field that is now left for a musician to interpret? Through discussions about the piece as well as its unspecificity and areas of discrepancy that Hui utilises as a performer, Yi interprets the flavour of Mani Gonxha’s graphic language intended for sound, and translates it into an image-based version of the performance, at the same time utilising the existing visual motifs that would physically unravel as the piece goes on. Through making imagery that is static and moving, Yi explores the emotions in shapes, painted gestures and movement, as well as the mutually translatable language that allows for manifestations as sound and movements.
Programme note of Mani Gonxha
A prayer. Mani Gonxha is an intensely intimate ritualistic experience for the performer that becomes naked and exposed when placed in front of an audience. It is as if one were to visit a church and find someone deep in personal prayer; this moment of great significance for the individual creates a somewhat unsettling but captivating situation for the observer.
Through the use of two Tibetan singing bowls – traditionally sacred instruments used as a signal to begin and end periods of silent meditation – Billone extracts a rich soundscape featuring a variety of impacts, timbres, resonances and harmonics one would not imagine could be produced by a single source. The bowls are an extension of the hands (Mani). They become part of the performer, just as the performer himself becomes part of the resonating body. The slightest contact between various materials – metal, skin, bones, torso, and voice – multiplies and propagates sound through the performing body and into the open.
Gonxha is a reference to Mother Teresa’s Albanian birth name, Anjezë Gonxhe Bojaxhiu. Furthermore, Gonxhe in Albanian translates to “bud”, or the “knoblike growth on a plant that develops into a flower,” much like the elaborate sonic universe that is developed from the simple source of two singing bowls. (© Noam Bierstone, Christian Smith)