This is Chun-liang. I’m back to the humid and hot summer in Taipei.
“Friction” is the last event curated by Moechee. To be more precise, it’s largely curated by Clinton Green instead of me. The theme “Friction” comes from my newly released album “Friction.” We had three sets, Tim Catlin, Jenny Barnes, and Moechee.
Tim brought an instrument that he made himself. It’s a lot of iron tubes with different lengths. Tim created sounds by rubbing the tubes with a pair of gloves on. It’s a very soothing performance, almost similar to a head massage, as there were specific sounds creating the tickles on my head. In the end, when Tim had accumulated enough sounds to correspond each other, he let loose of the frequency of his rubbing. I could literally feel the sound field. It’s an embodied listening experience.
Jenny Barnes dedicated her performance for her family in the detention centre. She kept singing “Diamond” by Rihanna with a recording of many voices, some saying repeated sentences similar to “There’s nothing I can do, I’m sorry, it’s my job.” She sang from standing up to crouching, then lying down, afterwards, she gradually pulled herself up. It’s physically and emotionally authentic. I could not help hugging Jenny Barnes after the performance. And she said that she had to wash her face a little bit…
“How are you going to perform after that?” Michael McNab asked me. “Fuck if I know.” I said.
I told Clinton that I felt sad, and he felt that, too.
Then, it’s the Moechee performance. As usual, we started with a warmup. This time it’s the Kirhuho Movement. Half way through our warmup, Clinton used a remote control to turn on two small vibrators in the bowls. The sounds accumulated. I continued my Kurhuho. I stood in front of Jenny Barnes for quite a while. Kirhuho was a somatic practice constituted by repeating the hand movement in a figure of eight.
We’ve briefing discussed on the structure of this Friction Performance. Clinton suggested that I could lead the audience into the street and improvise a little bit. He would sneak out half way and get ready for his drums to play. I would lead the audience to the back alley of Aeso Studio.
It’s all quite a fanatic and immersed experience. Thanks to all the audience members, they were really enthusiastic. I remembered Candice Boyd started running when we were outside. And Jenny Barnes chanting to support the whole thing. I remembered the road sign. I remembered one pedestrian who stopped to watch us when I walked behind him and said hi to him. I remembered a black-hair girl carrying one of Clinton’s cowbells and stood on the road. It’s a genuine public intervention. We even had limbo dance on the pavement with pedestrians participating.
It’s extremely ritualistic when I stood in front of the alley way. Clinton had started to play the drum with a big torch lighting towards the road. My friend was peeping into the alley, trying to figure out if there’s someone playing. Dancing all the way towards the alley, I stood in front of the drum and started to chant. The dog next door barked. People played with the iron fence of the carpark.
Then, at a specific point, I decided to turn my back towards the audience. I knelt down next to the rolling door of Aeso with Clinton. With a nod, we pulled the door up. We walked inside.
And that’s the end of the performance.
Afterwards almost everyone stayed and talked. It’s a great sense of satisfaction. Starting from holding the space created by Jenny Barnes and Tim Catlin to unfold that energy into the outside world. My friend described the Moechee performance to be “dangerous in the beginning and getting good in the end.” The danger, for her, was the fact that not knowing what to do on the street. She said that a woman among the audience told everyone that “I think she wants us to walk with them.”
I like the danger and the good. But most importantly, over the almost two years of working together with Clinton as MoeChee, I think we’ve built something together. Clinton had the brain for structure and the body for the sounds. I had the body to connects the space of the structure and the brain to judge the situation.
What I realised during the performance was that, speaking solely for myself (as Clinton will have his own phrase), I have gone a lot closer to “interaction as a profession/performance.” Of course it’s more Melbourne-based. But I suppose with more time in Taiwan I can also develop a methodology for interaction here. And to speak as Moechee, to interact by myself and to interact as Moechee is completely different.
I’m very hopeful for the next Moechee performance, wherever it will take place.
p.s. You can stream the “Friction” album here: