ARTIST STATEMENT

Like the on-going projects from which it is inspired (‘Shared difference’ & ‘What flag would it be if your body was a country’), this project titled ‘instanceNow: People Time Place involves collaborators based in different parts of the world. Places from where they don’t necessarily come:

  •   Alejandro Olarté the Colombian electro-acoustic composer & improviser is based in Helsinki.
  •   Rapasa Otieno, the Kenyan Nyatiti player and dancer is based in Newcastle.
  •   Joseph Kamaru (KMRU) the Kenyan ambient sound artist will work with us from Berlin – his temporary base.
  •   Waithera Lena Schreyek, the Kenyan-German dancer is temporarily based in Cologne.
  •   I-Fen Lin, the Taiwanese dancer is based in Luzern, Switzerland, but is she Chinese-Taipei, Taiwan-Taipei or Taipei-Taipei?

It is a contemplation, celebration and even interrogation of the idea of being present in a particular place at a particular moment. The notion of ‘Me here right now’ when people, place and time are one. But what happens when place and ultimately time become multiple?

When ’Me here right now’ becomes ‘You me, here there, now then’. What is the nature of being present or absent in the moment? What happens to spontaneity and interaction? What is the nature of seeing and hearing; of making signs and gesture; of negotiating space & time; of making sense of the other.

In the choreographic dispositive for ’instanceNow’, the creative and performance processes take place from remote locations. The performers and audiences interact and exchange data in real-time using online networks and social media.

Multipl(e)cities of[JP1]  time, place and geography converge in an instance of shared difference; of body, image, sound, text; a moment of live performance. 

THIS WORK IS BASED ON...

This online project is inspired by my ongoing process for the onsite works ‘Shared difference’ & ‘What flag would it be if your body was a country’ from the broader choreographic project ‘Territories in Transgression’ that has been in development for some time. The process from this fellowship will inform the creative process for future hybrid (onsite/online) work.


Opiyo Okach

Opiyo Okach

Contribution  – project conception, interactive visuals:

Opiyo Okach is a dancer, choreographer and media artist. He develops work between Kenya and France. He is known for improvisation and instant composition. His work interrogates relations of power, identity and perception. His work has toured toured Africa, Brazil, Europe & the US. He has received numerous international awards for his work. He has been a catalyst for the development of dance in East Africa. His current work is stepped in multi-disciplinary process integrating live performance and creative technology.

Alejandro Olarte

Contribution – Electro-acoustic improvisation:

Alejandro OLARTE is an electroacoustic musician, Doctor of Music, researcher, and pedagogue. Olarte is working for the Center for Music and Technology at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Finland as Lecturer in Electroacoustic Music. His main interests include improvisation and performance with electronic instruments and synthesizers as well as computer music, sound art and pedagogy.

Rapasa Otieno

Contribution – Nyatiti, Obakano, Orutu, Vocals:

Rapasa is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, music educator and contemporary dancer.  He is an advocate of traditional music. While playing several indigenous instruments to East Africa, Rapasa’s principal instrument is Nyatiti, an eight-string lyre. It has travelled along the Nile with the Lüo community who play it and whose people have now settled along the shores of Nam Lolwe (Lake Victoria) where Rapasa is from. Through its storytelling, his music gives an insight into our ancestor’s wisdom. Rapasa is very focused on this heritage. He has in depth knowledge and understanding of traditional music particularly from the Lüo customs. Yet he has researched Nyatiti music in such a way that he is able to place it in the context of today’s music landscape. Rapasa has taken part both as a contemporary dancer and musician in various dance projects and collaborations. He spent several years exploring movement and the Nyatiti. Between 2011-2017 he was part of the ‘Performance Lab Nairobi’ headed by Opiyo Okach. He is currently taking part in Sage Artist in Residence where he can further explore linking traditional to contemporary Nyatiti music. He has released two albums. His debut album, “Tipona” (my shadow), was released in March 2020. Tipona is a spiritual journey through the eyes of a young village boy stepping into manhood. In collaboration with the University of York he created an EP in 2017 on the project Human Rights Defenders at Risk called “Songs of Equality” which was later released in December 2019 on most digital platforms.

Joseph Kamaru (KMRU)

Contribution – Sound artist:

KMRU is a sound artist, experimental ambient musician, based in Nairobi, Kenya. His delicate, textural compositions blend field recordings and indigenous sounds with expansive hypnotic drones. Initially producing beat-driven music, he earned international acclaim from his ambient works, such as the 2020 full-length Peel released on Editions Mego. KMRU’s has is a regular at Uganda’s Nyegenyege Festival, and performed acclaimed sets at Berlin’s CTM, Saint Petersburg’s Gamma Festival and recently presenting works for Mutek Montreal AI Lab and Unsound festival. Aside, KMRU presents a monthly show on Internet Public Radio, guests on NTS and Rinse FM, organizes workshops for Nairobi Ableton User group, and also a core member of Black Bandcamp.

Dancers

Online dancers (would you dance with me online for free?):

  • Waithera Lena Schreyeck
  • I-Fen Lin

Other dancers (video archives):

  • Juliette Omolo
  • Rapasa Otieno
  • Adam Chienjo
  • Papa Omugataya
  • Lonesome Bounty
  • Jack Bryton

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