February 9, 2012

Rough English translation of Tori Kudo's notes towards our project together


This is an overall image of the performance that we have agreed on.
This performance roughly consists of three circles (music, job and pottery) and interactions between them.
The theme is to offer an opportunity for reflection on the double life between music and job as well as on the loop that can be found in the potter’s wheel and daily routines.
Jacob imagines a double life as something like a fictitious identity for securing oneself from the world or a spy, and he thinks that that kind of double life is recommendable as an individual’s style independent of the demands of capital, because capital often requires one job and one lifestyle.
I mean that it would be nice if that can be an opportunity for the audience to think of the current situation of Japan and the way the notion of happiness is, by showing the process where the daily jobs of those who participate in Maher Shalal Hash Baz are exposed and then they play, and and to think that they want to have another secret circle and habit in their life, which are different from their official circle and habit (not just, for instance, having an anonymous Twitter account), by talking about their own lifecycle.
The performance progresses as the participants and audience talk about the relationship with their jobs, Maher and pottery.
English and Japanese are immediately translated.
What the participants are required to do is preparation.
The audience are required to participate without the preparation.
It is a very beautiful experience to see people who have never spoken in front of audience start to speak, and the main objective of this performance is to experience that.
I ask the participants to prepare what to do and to speak of about their jobs and Maher.
Everything that is involved in a performance in a broad sense must be included in that, and actually there is no rule.
The only requirement is to be oneself.

We gather in the evening, and after rehearsing, we start at 10pm.
At first, Jacob shows the pottery that he made at my place and talks about the experience. He says that it will be given to those who want it after the performance for free.
Then he asks each performer about Maher and their daily jobs.
I put clay on the wheel and start to make pieces, but I keep murmuring, converting the noise of the wheel to words. Large sheets of paper are on the wall, and the words are written on them. The performers create loops and quietly practice the loops with their instruments, looking at the words and listening to what others say. The sound shall be quiet enough not to erase the speeches, and it does not have to loop endlessly. The loops can also be changed according to the changes of the speeches of others and the words on the wall.
I make pottery with the wheel intending to make the figures of the people who are talking. They are taken off from the wheel as soon as finished and given to the one who was talking. When everyone finishes talking, everyone plays a loop together. The lyric is the words on the wall.
After that, the audience are requested to speak, and there is no plot. Maybe someone stands on the wheel, and maybe someone says they want to experience the wheel. People who want the pottery that Jacob made are required to tell why they want it (I mean, that might facilitate talking).
At 10 minutes to 11 o'clock, alcohol is offered, and the performance ends without ending.
I collect the raw pottery and reduce it to a mass of clay: what it was in the beginning.

People who stay there keep talking after the performance.


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