The Soul Finds Rest in Unity (2007) returns musical activity to the practice of everyday life. Through visual documents, video, sound-works, and micro-performances, it makes an enquiry into certain encounters a violinist must face as she seeks to perform a new musical work in a concert environment. What physical trials must she surmount to reach maturity as a skilled agent of a composer’s imagination? How must she adapt her body to master its stringed, wooden prosthesis?
The skills performers engage on concert platforms are those once privately cultivated at home. By leading musical activity off-stage, to the domestic and the ordinary, The Soul Finds Rest in Unity rekindles intimacy between music as a human activity and concerns as fundamental as the daily quest for subsistence. It obviates the structures of concertizing and issues a challenge to the typically twentieth-century view of the musician as an artist of the city. The installation provided a temporary homw for violinist, Monica Germino, while she participated in Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival. It made a frame around issues concerning the creation and performance of The Bravery of Women, a new work by Nicholas Brown that Monica performed in the festival on Saturday 17 November, 2007.
Amidst the subjectivity of its domestic context, intertwined with daily experience, the visual and aural elements of the installation coalesce according to a historical tension between music as text (or recorded sound) and music as embodied action. The project addresses the role of the musical work (and its vessel of the imagination, the score) in establishing the difference between ‘rehearsal’ and ‘performance’, between ‘composer’ and ‘performer’. And it queries the notion that in listening to patterns of sound, while sitting in static contemplation, we may fully understand the depth of music’s meaning.
copyright © N.G.Brown 2007