Crimson Coast Dance

April 16, 2021: WALKING – THE INSPIRATION BEHIND MY NEXT SCREENDANCE by Geneviève Johnson

(Anatomy of a Storm, by Geneviève Johnson – picture from video by Gary Prendergast)

For my next poem in motion, I decided to start by creating a soundscape around WALKING from which the movement and the visual will take shape. (I touched on the creation of soundscapes a few weeks back.)

The final production will be a Dance on Film that might become a live show later:
At Walkfall / À la tombée de la marche

Inspirations and Starting Points

This creation stems from my personal experience of slowly loosing the ability to walk then regaining it as well as having to learn/speak a second language and live as a minority language speaker in my everyday life.

Part of my questioning:

  • How walking is not something so easily done for everyone. How we take it for granted.
  • How walking is also falling into each step. A recovery of balance from the falling off balance… What if you cannot catch your self in the next step?
  • How walking is a deconstruction/reconstruction in each step.
  • How language is a moment-to-moment construction.
  • How learning and speaking a foreign language is a deconstruction of the native language and its reconstruction in the new one in each moment.

How can I walk along the railroads of my vulnerabilities with my wounds, my scars, along the faultlines of my becoming…

This soundscape is a starting point. I will let movements stem from it.
A conversation will arise from movements, sounds and words encounter. 

Building these worlds in dialogue.

(all sounds, images and editing by Geneviève Johnson –
excerpts by Sofina Johnson and Tyler McIIwham)

Creative Process

This time, instead of images, movements or objects, I wanted to start from words. Entering the process of transforming them: let them become something else, a new world, which would trigger and unearth poetry in motion.

The only thing I know about the movement is that it will be a trio. I want to explore being supported/supporting and not supported/ not supporting, with and without others and nature, same and different…

I wrote a biomechanical description of the action of walking in both English and French.
I recorded them.

From this straight forward description, I deconstructed words in sounds and sounds in beats.
I used echo, reverb, repeat, phaser, change of speed and reverse effects on different sections or words.
Created layers of different qualities of the text and words to create stereo effect.
I reconstructed the fragments into more poetic combinations,
new arrangement of meanings.

As if to say that all the possibilities are in everything:
we just have to put time, listen and build new worlds from there…

I love layers.
In everything I do: photography, video, performance, installation, poetry, visual art…
It was important to me to create depth for the listener and the mover
to inspire emotions, meanings and stimulate imaginary worlds.

(Walking Stomp Photo Series by Genevève Johnson)

Added to the voice, the different layers are:

Water
I use many different elements of water. The free flow and rolling of water or its abrupt falling, hitting, stopping is in my mind related to the flow or no-flow of walking and speaking.

  • running water from a nearby stream
  • a CoreAlign sound transformed into a stormy ocean by Tyler McIIwham

Field sounds
I used sections of field recordings I did through out the winter.

  • my steps walking and running in mud, getting suctioned down and freed out in each step.
  • an eerie recording of kids playing in a park with their voices reverberating . It gives a sense of discomfort totally related to my subject of feeling out of place or discombobulated in walking or speaking.
  • a walk under the rain: calm and spacious to inspire movements to arise.

(Entre Ancrage et Envol by Geneviève Johnson)

Music
Sections of music made by my daughter, Sofina Johnson, were integrated
to create pockets of time without words for relief and breathing.

  • a very small sound section rebuilt into a grounding rolling loop that comes and goes – an electronic version of running water and waves.
  • a boat whistle section that I attached to its mirrored reverse version – relates to water again
  • a drums section slowed down – relates to steps on ground

INSPIRATION

Chose one thing to inspire you today - Let it move you

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