The Mountain! The residency woke up early today, with about 15 of us preparing to hike up one of the mountain peaks that dominate the local landscape. Driving in two vans we stopped at the village at the base of the mountain to pick up our local guide. These older men tend to the trails and watch against fires and the like, and a deeply, and justly, proud of their mountain region. As we wound up a road not for the faint of heart, new and more compelling vistas would emerge, punctuated by flocks of goats and views of isolated mountain shrines. As we approached the trail head, the guide had us stop. It was the name-day of the Saint associated with a small alpine church, and just as we arrived there, the service emerged from the church itself, and onto the surrounding small plaza. After a sung service, a variety of sweets were passed out, and we approached the trail laden with honey cakes. It was a perfect day for a mountain hike, clear and warm. As we made our way to the exposed summit, some of the residents were being slowly transformed, taking on fanciful aspect of the muses long associated with this mountain range. As we paused to work at the top, the transformation was completed, and two residents, in make-up and costume supplemented by found objects, engaged in a musical/movement dialogue under the increasingly quizzical gaze of our guide! We then returned to the village for well-earned coffees and beer, before returning to the residency. Other residents spent the day recording the sounds on the mountain, or preparing a site for a performance to take place tomorrow. After another Koumaria-style meal (large quantities of fresh food—meat—vegetarian and vegan, with wine and more), we held our daily group meeting, and it was clear that collaborations were already taking place. After dinner we had a demonstration of interactive- devices, both clothing with sensors, and prosthetic devices, which we hope to experiment with today. While live overhead animations took place, an electro-acoustic jam took form, and the day ended with everyone excited by the projects starting to take flight.

Leave a Reply