GOING TO HELL
for voices, electric violin, percussion, keyboards, live electronics and video
composed in 2009
Going to Hell is part of the Suicidal Self Portraits, next to Crash, Screaming my Simian Line, All of Yesterady's Parties and LipsEarsAssNoseBoobs. All these pieces are exploring fetishizations of media that result in some sort of re-start of a person's life, be it through revelations of inner truths and secrets or indulgences in obsessions. The reference to 'suicide' in the title is therefore not to be understood as a termination of someone's life but rather as the reinvention of a person.
The individual pieces are bridged with short video interludes that function as commercial spots.
The act of speaking can be described as an immersive experience. We feel the vibration of our voice through our body at the same time as we hear it through our ears from the outside. We also feel the motion of our mouth and tongue as we pronounce the words. The intimate inner bodily perception coincides with our vocal utterance, which reflects from our environment back into our ears. By hearing and feeling our voice, we simultaneously have the contractive experience of ourselves as a resonating corporeal entity and the expansive experience of the social interaction with the outside world. The intimate inner body meets the public domain.
On a social level, ‘confession’ carries the intimate to the public, even if it is channelized through religious rituals. The inside is turned to the outside by the act of speaking. However, in television talk- shows in the 80s and the 90s of the last century, the exposure of intimacies through mass-media has become a major source of entertainment and the cause of many scandals. People voluntarily display their most personal and vulnerable sides in exchange for a few minutes of “TV stardom”.
The composition ‘Going to Hell’ artistically explores the dichotomy of inner intimacy and public exposure through the use of the voice. Texts that stem from websites where people published secret confessions, alike to those that have often been exposed in talk shows, are providing the verbal material. The composition explores the sound-ambiences of talk shows, private homes and the human body. The latter is explored by scrubbing contact microphones over the skin, using the body percussively or by exposing the act of breathing. The alienation of the voice is carried on by processings like vocoding or extensions by computer generated voices. The world of TV shows and the sounds of private living-room situations provide concrete material for the instrumental parts and also include interruptions by compositionally integrated TV commercial breaks
In ‘Going to Hell’ these three levels – body, home and TV show – are presented in successive and simultaneous manners. A sort of ‘schizo-sonic’ environment is created by constantly switching place of reference.