One Hundred Nine Minus
Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong from May 1st, 2021
Commissioned by Tai Kwun Contemporary, Hong Kong
A composition consisting of two voices – a soprano and a countertenor lures the listener on a sonic journey based on the act of voicing. The act of voicing today has an existential allure, as it can reveal a deeply personal dimension of life in an age of damage, loss, and longing. Countering the sense of collective solitude, this composition seeks proximity with the listener and proposes a profoundly intimate form of shelter: voices guide, companion, and incline towards the listener. As responsiveness is one of Pan’s fundamental poetic principles, her practice always embraces the architecture it is hosted by. Exploring the spiral staircase’s movement, sound becomes more audible when ascending the stairs as the heartbeat quickens, or eases off when leaving the space and descending the staircase, slowly departing from the experience of the exhibition. Strongly informed by the practice of improvisation in all stages of artistic creation, Pan’s singers employ operatic vocal techniques that here enter in dialogue with her expanded techniques of vocalization and narration. Tapping into these technical tools allows Pan to broaden musical awareness and recognition into an unknown territory of sonic experience. Based on a repertoire of words underpinning the creation process, the composition drives the listener away from logical understanding towards a sensate rendition of reality, as words are stripped from their layers of meaning. A vocal beacon, Nine Hundred One Minus guides the voice, the ear, and the heart into fervent oscillation.
This work will unfold into a large scale durational performance late Fall 2021.