I wanted to attempt an embodiment of Posthumanist perspectives of specifically non-human creatures. I’m drawn to the idea of trying to break out of the very heightened human exceptionalism that we currently find ourselves in, although I think we can’t fully, as the embodied human experience we are in, see completely outside of ourselves. But there are levels of extremity – which can afford more harmony or more violence. Even though we are running on so many mind programs that were formed from nurture, society, genetics – we have seen countless times & places, that paradigm fluidity is possible, even though it can sometimes be slow & initially (or repeatedly) be met with hostility and violence.
A first exploration of putting this topic exploration into practice that I felt comfortable with, especially at the stage of research I’m in, is to make sound pieces including non-human perspective – an imagining of what I’d feel like as specific different species, with an inevitable infusion of myself – so maybe better put – duets with myself and my interpretation or impression of that particular creature.
This is also just a fun way to try to embody non-human creatures and i do think we are more than our conscious, so maybe part of the practice is more “successful” on other levels.
My constraints are:
Use my analog synth Prophet Rev2 – no layering (modern technology with ancient creatures)
Use words to write from perspective of creature or sample actual sounds
Find examples of a specific aspect of the creature to explore
So far in 5 day practice, I’ve made 2 songs:
1 – Bee Orchid singing to the bee that’s going extinct (from Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet example)
2 – Paired Gibbon monkey songs with synth, pitched down and over time up.
3 – I was researching interesting known symbiotic relationships and found the relationship between the Honeyguide and Yao people of Mozambique – where there is 2 way communication that results in the Honeyguide leading the people to bee hives, where the people smoke out the combs so the bees become calm, and the people can take out the comb without being stung. The people will leave parts on the ground for the birds. I have the birds calling the people “fire starters” – I was thinking if I was an animal, that would be a distinct intriguing human feature.
I have an existing song that inspired this project that’s called “DIEZOME” from a project I did with Sam Hains & Camilla Padgitt Coles. Camilla co-wrote the lyrics to the song. Concept of the project was made by all of us and is a game show screening process that leads to a utopian rhizomatic society.
Inspired by Anna Tsing’s “Unruly Edges: Mushroom as Companion Species” article, I wanted to have a mushroom spirit signing about monocrop invasion, but that was kind of hard to get the right tone. That night I had mushroom pizza to help with embodiment, but I guess the idea wasn’t ready to come through or maybe not meant to flower in that form.
I haven’t decided on today’s theme but am thinking maybe something with bacteria or stones.