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Projects: IT FELT LIKE FOREVER (Ep. 1)

Sooner than expected, an opportunity arouse for me to try out what I've been learning with my supervisor. I will be creating four soundscapes for a series of live performances in various locations by the It's Us: Ophelia collective in Istanbul (December 2023).

About the performance

"Welcome to Purgatory- where we witness the sublime, grandiose and mythical journeys of three divine creatures stuck in limbo. It’s Us: Ophelia presents IT FELT LIKE FOREVER, an original immersive performative installation that explores themes of ancient folklore through a surrealist lens of femininity. From spring forests, to the depths of the sea through to the depths of the underworld; prepare to be immersed in a time-bending world of stunning visuals, experimentation and grandeur."

My role as a sound designer

The show has 3 separate characters, each one with its own world. I will create 3 x 90 minute long soundscapes, plus a 4th one which will be a combination of the 3 first pieces. There are two main challenges: I have never created such extensive pieces, and the collective needs pieces that can be re-arranged and altered with ease, since the performances are yet to evolve throughout this month and I cannot be present in Istanbul. I have thus thought out the following approach:

I will generate short "seeds" of sound, which I will then put together into longer "pods". In turn, pods will be arranged into 30 min. long scenes. Each track will contain 3 scenes. The collective has indicated certain time cues that are required as well as their "action journey", which is the order of scripts and tasks to be performed by each character. Cues will be my signposts, whilst scripts and tasks order will be the narrative guide for my timeline.

Together with one of the performers, I have come up with a set of sound"ingredients" specific to each character's sound "bed" and seeds. The sound mix within each scene/pod/seed will differ based on its position on the performance's timeline. For instance, a pod at the start of a particular performance may be comprised of the same sounds as a pod in the middle, but sounds may be organised further back or forward in the mix. The seed/pod/scene system will thus make the project manageable, allow me to re-arrange soundscapes easily, and enable the making of the 4th inter-character soundscape.

Creative response

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The ingredients

Spring Queen -

A bed of birds/nature in the morning intersected by A-tonal, harsh mating sounds and faint whispers of someone afar. Sprinkle with tiny bells.

Queen of Hell -

A bed of an electric fan, heavily wet with bells in a water tunnel, contrasted by a lullaby and maternal whispers.

Sedna of the Sea

A bed of fire and water. Whales, a siren song.

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