iLand: Feedback & Final Impressions from Biba Bell

Thinking about sound and movement: Often times when I'm dancing I experience this sense of conversation, of  dialogue -- drawing me into the moment, the space, relationships, etc.  Working on the iLand project I was able to more fully explore and articulate  this dialgue with sound -- sound as a medium, sound as a force, sound as a  description, a gesture, a piece of me. Growing up in a house of musicians, I was raised to listen, and have always  had a sensitivity to sound. (Now there is a level of subtle differentiation  in listening to music and soundscapes of the urban as we did the last couple  of weeks, ways in which these types of listening are developed and and  maintained, and it was interesting to discover and deconstruct my personal  discrepancies.) Bringing myself to meet the music of the city I focused my  dancing, listenting body on the crosstown traffic, the children in the park,  the smattering of bird sounds invisible in havens of trees, the sound of my  own breath and footsteps next to me, the geometric valleys and peaks of  midtown, the oasis of the orchid store on 42nd and Park, and the sky expanse  of helicopters on the LI waterfront. To dance with this sound is truly a way  to open up the little ears that inhabit each and every cell. The sounding of  the city in my body makes it move. How much sound can go through these limbs? My presence changes the sound -- as Pauline Oliveros articulated, I  participate with the sound. Sure, physically the sound waves are absorbed by  my mass, but also redirected. There was a certain level of alchemy that  iLand led me to explore. Sustainability. This was a big word in the last couple of weeks --  incredibly descriptive. I look to unpack it. As I move through sound I give  my ears a rest -- like Hope was saying, moving can be a rest. I am able to  participate with the soundscape for greater duration, I reach into the  soundspace more, I am supported by this soundspace. The potential harshness  of urbanity is toned, movement is this tonic... Sound can be a command, a perlocution. I respond with movement, and involve  myself -- it is a dialogue. I love what Lise said about her interest in the relationship between investigation, or research, and a space of creativity. This is a rich and interesting question, and seeking where these modes intersect, as they most certainly do, along with the insight of these working artists, Hope and Michelle, and the community of people they brought together is something I most certainly will give all my props to iLand for.... P.S. A few days into the workshop I wrote this: Sound this morning, it’s 5 o’clock AM. I lay in bed, barely conscious of  escalating wind chopping sound projecting from above. Helicopters are  circling above. Coursing through the sky, what are they looking for?  Sounds are a trigger, what are they looking for? I slowly awaken. Sounds  friction my sleep state, I am hot. Too hot to be comfortable. I get up,  walk, lie down. A garbage truck comes by and adds itself to the symphony,  roaming the path of gutters. The tone of rest has changed. I shift  positions. My body feels different. I shift. The circling of helicopters  fades. They’re off. I am aware of my back. It is softer. I shift. The  sky sounds huge, heard in the echoes of eclipsing propellers. It is 6 AM.  These sounds have moved me.
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Biba Bell, iLAND


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