New vocal work for six female voices
Composer: Jonathan Bell
Text: Robert Bell
Design/costumes: Keke Vilabelda and Leticia Martinez Perez
Ensemble director/performer: Judith Dodsworth
Technical production: Aaron Wyatt
Video: Simon Strong
With special thanks to Professor Cat Hope and the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music, Monash University.
‘At Casa de Velasquez in Madrid, where we are currently both in residence, Keke Vilabelda proposed me to contribute musically to his Common Ground exhibition in Grau Projekt. The vision he had in mind immediately evoked me a wonderful setting for a stage, and I thought the most meaningful text for me in this context would be poems of my father, Robert Bell, English poet, who passed away when I was fourteen. Many of his poems were inspired by the sea, the horizon, natural elements, used as points of departure for inspiration and meditation on our ordinary lives.
Women's voices are here for me evocative of angels. Just like with young choir boys in the ancestral Christian repertoire, the absence of basses characteristic of such vocal ensembles gives a peculiar "celestial" sonority.
The piece uses animated notation and networked audio-scores in order to merge acoustically the harmonics of the voice with those of electronically generated sounds.’ - Jonathan Bell
COMMON GROUND is the first Australian exhibition of Spanish rising star Keke Vilabelda. Exhibited works are a response to the context and circumstances, as Keke is exploring the physical connection between Valencian and Victorian landscapes, directing his gaze towards the unique pink salt lakes.
COMMON GROUND is a hypnotic audiovisual experience as the installation includes a series of paintings, a textural floor intervention produced with 8 tons of local salt and two-channel video work with an atmospheric soundtrack written by French musician Etienne Haan.
Departing from the notion of the explorer and the astronaut, Leticia Martinez Perez designed and hand-painted six costumes for the show, matching the colours and textures of Keke’s installation. The costumes are created to complement a head-mounted display, which a female choir will use to perform Jonathan Bell’s vocal composition.
Performed on the 6th of February 2020.
GRAU PROJEKT is a contemporary art gallery in Melbourne, Australia. grauprojekt.com #art #artgallery #abstractart #vocalwork #voice