What happens to our bodies as we vibrate to the frequency of someone else’s moaning and wailing?
Our voices are affective data that emerge from our murky bodies. It’s sonical data, that is in our voices, which entangles and sculpts our belonging to one another. During this 4 week residency, we will focus on the moan as data that translates information about ourselves into another kind of materiality. Specifically, we will investigate the sounds which arise through the practice of moaning, and how our different moans can weave a fabric of commonality. Throughout the four weeks, we will gather together to build a moaning choir, moving from a symphony of wailing babies to a hysterical discord of lamenting mourners to a wild crescendo of whimpering wolves.
Our research question is simple: what happens to our singular bodies when we are engaged in a space of collective moaning? We will explore this question through the form of call & response, where we learn to sympathetically listen through the skin, and learn to respond from the gut. We will then engage with active listening, learning how to allow your body to be washed over by the moans of your your neighbours, and how to respond sympathetically and effectively.
REHEARSAL DATES: 6, 13, 20, 27 October 18.00-21.00 @ WORM Rotterdam
FINAL PERFORMANCE: 30 October
SOME REFLECTIONS ON THE MOAN by facillitator Raoni Seleh
The moan is a sound that comes from the backspace. The moan is that which accompanies grief, lamenting, complaint and release. It is urged and hushed into privatization and silence. Away from where it can move large groups of bodies, of bones, veins, hearts, meat and skins, into feeling.
The moan is ugly and makes one uncomfortable. The moan is beautiful and brings one to tears. It is heavy and makes one’s heart ache from pain. It can be simple in its presence, or horrifying and hysterical. It nags, it is angry, it can be bratty. It allows for emotional and spiritual release. It is like a nomadic traveler, carried by the howling wind and rocking broken hearts.
The purpose of the moan is to connect through expression. It refuses to be repressed. It can evoke disobedience and resistance to power. It is beyond the human, it can move us into non-human sympathy, into non-human relationality and into listening beyond the human.
The moan is used by professional mourners all over the world to grieve the sweet, old, inescapable hurt that comes with life. It is used to praise the ways life gives in abundance. It connects the moaner and the listener, weaving a web of affective sympathy everywhere it goes.
Design by Natalia Papaeva
Photos by Hans Poel