Sonic Dreams by Vanessa Tomlinson
Performed by Vanessa Tomlinson and John Ferguson at Common House Brisbane as part of Upper Partialism #13
November 6th 2017
Sonic Dreams is an imagination of lost and unknown sounds. Performers improvise their way through 8 imaginary soundscapes – the turtle coming up for breath; the spines of the giant echidna rubbing against a tree; the stick-nest rat moving about in its nest for example.
This piece is composed for and dedicated to Grey-Wing Ensemble, a group of sonic investigators that live in Perth, Australia. All the sound worlds imagined in this work once belonged to this area of the world, and are now either extinct or critically endangered. In the case of the turtle Pseudemydua umbrina, its habit is now the Perth airport – its sound world totally transformed.
Preparation: Practice for this piece may include improvising within the given sound worlds, research about the species in the piece, site visits/recordings, rehearsing how to move from one sonic state to the next. Or it may include going on stage and spontaneously playing from the instruction cards.
Performance: Move through the sequence of 8 imagined sound worlds in any order. These may last from 30 second minimum per card, to as long as you like. A different person will lead each change. Changes can be sharp, as in changing a slide, or can cross fade. In the case of a cross-fade, some sort of logic must be applied to the transition. Together you are creating a series of fixed, repeatable, sonic memories – for that moment only.