Ah ah ah! Ah ah ah! and so on…
tou em tel, tou em tel, tou em TELLLLLLLL…! and so on.
Lead me to the river, lead me to the walls, tou em tel.
Now speaks the bather with the bells.
The day is young and so are we. We invite you to the convent for child (and parent-) friendly polyvocalities on Mothers Day. Actions for big ears will be led by artist Jody Kingston and friends to encourage small ears to listen to the layered textures of sound in the environment that surrounds them. Rising early on Sunday morning, we’ll be listening to the Yarra, the gardens, each other: our Polyphonic Social family will be crooning.
From 10.00AM, Polyphonic Social starts with an invitation: make some new ears and take them for a walk. With an activity book in hand, children use the new ears as a tool to focus on the sounds of voices, machines, trees, bodies, buildings, water, air and more. Inspired by the ideas of American experimental artist Pauline Oliveros and her philosophical approach to sound and ‘deep’ listening — we will attempt to hear the physical motion of the interlocking patterns of our planet, system, galaxy and our universe ✶
At 12.30PM, we take part in Tape Music by Taiwanese artist Lin Chi-Wei. A 120m reel of tape is passed, in a circular configuration, through the hands of the audience. Performed previously with primary schools, temples, churches, factories, local governments, neighbourhoods, folk music groups, empowerment groups:
‘I just pass the ribbon with embroidered words made of meaningless phonetics (without pitches) to the audiences and see what is going to happen.’ We might speak, sing, meow or make no sounds at all.
From 1.15PM, we rehearse Running Bathing Singing With The Hi God People which they say will involve “bathing each other while dressed in sleepwear, wetting the sleepwear in the process”. Hi God People agree “it might be better to do this outside”
At 2.15PM we walk, and we listen. Wurundjeri Elder, Uncle Bill Nicholson will lead us through the Yarra landscape by ear and hear multiple voices of land, lore and country. ‘The Birrarung, the Yarra River that flows just out of town, is a very special river to all of us, extremely special to the Wurundjeri. The Birrarung, as we call it – the misty river – it’s our symbol of our connection, physical and spiritual, to this land.’
The afternoon continues, for the full program see Polyphonic Social: your voice in my head (and mine in yours). Polyphony is my utterance that consumes yours; it is your voice in my head (and mine in yours).
Abbotsford Convent site map available herepartners