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  • Writer's pictureRagnheiður Erla Björnsdóttir

Performance at Alte Schmiede

Some weeks ago, on May 3rd, I performed a vis-á-vis at Alte Schmiede, Vienna, with composer and visual artist Natalia Domínguez Rangel.

The concert consisted of two individual sets from both of us. Natalia brought her sculpture (see picture below) and sonic memories that were accompanied with field recordings. They could be heard by the audience from the sound system and hidden loudspeakers around the room. My set consisted of some new work in process focusing on my current artistic research project, Multispecies Vocal Weaving. Lately, I have been experimenting more and more with experimental pop, as I am a part of a long term project that is soon to be released that might be categorised to this genre. This has been freeing, to blend contemporary music, field recordings, extended and folk vocals with experimental pop - and let what ever comes, come. For this particular concert, some aspects worked, others not. My practice uses performance as research, and as always, much was learned. After our sets, Natalia and I had an improvised exchange that had been previously suggested by the organiser. We made a decision to not rehearse an exchange, and let the audience witness our meeting point in the exact moment it happened. Without a doubt, it was the highlight of the concert, and Natalia's strong and diverse field recordings created an environment for my voice to move freely around in. We were lucky enough to have a baby present in the audience. Towards the end of the concert, it began singing with us and participating in the improvisation. Repeating and answering. After the concert, some audience members approached me and told me how precious the child's musical exchanges had been for them. For me too.

Thank you Natalia for the exchange. Thank you Alte Schmiede for the invitation, and the whole team for all assistance setting up.

Photo by Simon Veres (IG @simonveres_aeph)

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