Today was dominated by a series of interviews with villagers, each one offering its own surprises. Luckly, upon reaching the village a truck selling live poultry was parked, and we made a surround-sound recording of the assorted cluckings and cooings. Many interviews were then conducted, some of the highlights including a 87 year old former professional singer, after some coaxing, breaking into traditional song. A 93 and a 94 year old women were both interviewed, revealing much about the history of courtship, family building, and domestic work in the village, along with insights into the assorted waves of village migration, and signal moments in the village’s history, from both WW2 and the civil war. Many rich narratives of village life emerged, and residents are thinking about ways of integrating this material into both app content and performance. After a delicious dinner there was a second jam, featuring electronics, live signal processing, video and movement. The cool evening had us set two fires, and as the night progressed groups of residents huttled near the flames, discussing projects to work on in the following days.
Agia Kyriaki (translated: The Kyriaki monastery) is an improvised music and dance performance filmed in the region of mount Parnonas during the 2015 Koumaria residency.
Production: Koumaria Residency 2015
Dancer: Marili Pizarro
Music: Robert Jędrzejewski, Eric Lewis, Preston Beebe, Felix Del Tredici, Melisa Delgado
Camera Operator, Editor, Colourist: Michael Larsson
Sound recording: Jung Wook Hong
From Both Sides Now is a video documentary concerning the Medeaelectronique 2009 Koumeria residency. It focuses on the interpersonal and artistic challenges faced by a group of improvisers, working across numerous art-forms, largely unknown to each other, who had ten days to create a collaborative trans-art performance piece. We see how often social issues presented themselves as artistic issues, and visa versa. The documentary traces the participant’s community building efforts, and the success of the residency, in spite of major obstacles concerning lack of a common first language, diverse experiences as improvisers, divergent art-discourses and varied expectations. Improvisation emerges as a method for simultaneously asserting the self, while integrating it into a larger community. The artistic success of the residency can be seen as a product of its social success, and the willingness of the participants to respond to contingencies in perhaps unexpected ways.