We enter the glass door of ISSUE future home – and there she meets us, sliding the endpin of her cello over the stone floor. That the quirky squeak and grinding notes born in the cello’s body are unusual is no news, but the way Okkyung literally gropes the air with sound creates the special connection within the space, placing the audience at the heart of mystic resonance. And we, startled, follow – become resonance ourselves – as all the listeners are a part of the sound, the echo of our footsteps is an element of the performance. Michelle with her conspiratorial wink inflates the air further, creates wind by running up and down the stairs, turning the revolving glass door, dancing the sound and playing it with her eyes.
As we (listeners and performers) enter the theatre space, the sonorous pallet becomes more abundant – acoustical landscape here is enriched with balustrades, Corinthian columns, and vaulted ceilings. More listeners – randomly scattered on the chairs around the place, laying on the floor, following the performers – each one’s experience is genuinely unique. It is the cello we came to indulge our ears with – its rich overtones, wide pitch range and sonorous variety in the body and strings. But not only the ears rejoice – our whole bodies transform into instruments, feeling how sound is born between the ribs.
With her sonorous explorations Okkyung Lee appears to be the truest follower of John Cage – “getting rid of the glue” and letting the sounds be themselves. This is the present history of experimental music.
September 25, 2011