As a part of Fluid States: Performances of UnKnowing PSi’15, Fluid States North, the Copenhagen based performance company HEAVEN, founded by Madeleine Kate McGowan, were invited to contribute with a performance. HEAVEN created the immersive sound-performance music4giants. The location was an old villa at Refshaleøen, Copenhagen. The performance was a celebration of the non-human, a desire to sing for the giants.
The music4giants project is a study of the human obsession with human existence, through an immersive environment of syncopated sounds, bodies and spaces. The skeleton for the performance is a full sound-composition, which was created by Holger Hartvig from Synd & Skam, and which could never be experienced in total by the visitors, merely because human beings are not physically large enough to be able to embrace the entire spectrum of sounds created on location. Only beings larger than humans can grasp the full composition, hence the title: music for giants. The performance-installation was a ritual provoking human-centric culture. The performance lead our attention away from our obsession with the ideas of human existence, human narrative, human satisfaction, human perception. Instead the performance tried to open a collective creation for a being larger than us; a giant we are not able to see. The giants being a metaphor for the forces we are not able to grasp or control, such as nature, bacteria colonies, plants or other perceptions of giant forces. All involved rooms in the villa, each represented a sound-fragment of a larger composition. Visitors were led through the spaces, with glimpses of sounds, swells of orchestra, humming voices and shattered frequencies.
HEAVEN is a performance company based in Copenhagen. As a central aspect to HEAVEN’s work stands the encounter. HEAVEN exists in the intersection between sound-installation, performance, eco-art and new age. Every performance is unique and always set in untraditional art-spaces. Themes such as intimacy, longing, transcendence, post-human, technology and sustainability are activated and researched together with the audiences. Currently HEAVEN is researching the possibility to challenge the anthropocentric delirium of culture, studying the possibility of communicating with other lifeforms, such as plants, through sound. Recent projects are Five Apartments and music4giants.
The length of HEAVEN’s performances range from 1 hour to several days. There is no physical boundary between the performer and audience. The audience dedicate the specific time to the performance piece when entering, and are invited to engage with the piece, immersed in all lights, sounds, smells and dialogues. And as with life, every audience experience is unique, and defined by the level of engagement and psyche of the audience.
Involved in music4giants: Madeleine Kate McGowan, Anna Weile Kjær, Klara Utke Acs, Rakel Dimar, Rasmus Balling Larsen, Rasmus Knutzen Nielsen, Esben Weile Kjær, Tao Hansen, Inga Gerner Nielsen, Sarah Armstrong, Holger Hartvig, Hanna Westling, Dan Skuflic, Greta Cinn.
*All photos by Fryd Frydendahl