“Friction” Performance Reflection

Hello everyone,

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.

Thank you.

 

p.s. You can stream the “Friction” album here:

https://shamefilemusic.bandcamp.com/album/friction

 

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MoeChee Performances and Clinton’s workshops in Taiwan

Hello all,

Yes, from the title, as you can see, MoeChee is going to Taiwan. Chun-liang is going home, and Clinton is going overseas. We’ll have gigs in at least two cities (one is Chun-liang’s homtown Kaohsiung and the other is the city Taipei where she’s lived for more than 10 years), two workshops and some recordings to do. And Chun-liang is pretty much in a packing hell therefore some vibe for organisation from everyone is encouraged!

Here are the dates and venues for the gigs and workshops (Written by Clinton Green and Copy/paste by Chun-liang).

Taiwan July 2014: 3 July 2015. 3pm – ‘If It Ain’t Broke…Break It’ workshop(facilitated by Clinton Green) @ DigiLog, Taipei, Taiwan.  Australian experimental musician and performer, Clinton Green, demonstrates his approach to faulty and redundant technologies as compositional material and takeoff points to free improvisation. Clinton works with defective record players and shattered vinyl records, pushing materials to the point of disintegration and failure, to seek new musical and sonic outcomes. Clinton will demonstrate and discuss his approach to music and noise in this workshop, and lead a discussion with participants about the possibilities of incorporating ‘broken music’ into their own work, both on practical and philosophical levels. Bookings.

9 July 2015 – Moe Chee, @ 182artspace Tainan, Taiwan

10 July 2015, 3pm – Moe Chee Ruh Cafe, Kaohsiung, Taiwan

11 July 2015 – Moe Chee  with Jeff Carey & Sangatsu @ Lacking Sound Festival, Minquan District Activity Center, No.43, Sec. 5, Minquan E. Rd., Songshan Dist, Taipei, Taiwan

12 July 2015, 7:30pm – ‘Listen’ workshop (facilitated by Clinton Green) @ Murder Ink bookshop, Taipei, Taiwan

Australian experimental musician and performer, Clinton Green, leads a group workshop in the art of listening. Through discussion, group exercises and personal experiences, Clinton will lead the group in an exploration of sound in site-specific performance (in this case, a bookshop). The workshop will cover approaches to discovering and incorporating sound inherent in the site into performance, as well as focussing on the inner experience of listening itself. The workshop is designed for cast members of the upcoming Taipei Fringe Festival production “Cold Case Club”, directed by Clinton’s Moe Chee partner, Chun-liang Liu (running in late August 2015); as such, it is cultivated towards theatrical performers, but other places are open to people of all backgrounds and interests. Places are very limited, bookings here.

[End of April, Beginning of May] The magic number “seven”

There were a few things in End of April, Beginning of May that I found somehow similar to the working experiences in a blackbox theatre. It may sound absurd, but it is very real in my body. Firs day is the high in getting into the theatre and get to immerse yourself into the real space, second day is the adjustment for everything that doesn’t meet your expectations, third day are the harsh time between technicians, directors, and performers, fourth day are the busy catch-up with all the delayed schedules, and, the fatigue that finally started to build in your body. Fifth day the illness usually get worse, sixth day I probably can’t care much about the sickness, even if it’s getting worse. Last day is the best. I may be sick to death, but it’s going to be over very soon.

Even if I may be in the theatre working seven days as a stage manager instead of a performer, to perform 7 days in a row, that is, to be in the same role for seven days, is extremely similar.

It’s the magic number of seven. Seven is a very social constructed number. Of course it has something to do with religion. But most importantly it has something to do with the modern life that is hugely affected by our working schedule.

I’m a research student and I Taiwanese, both signifies the possibility in defying the seven-day work/rest rules. But in Australia I’ve learned that if it’s Friday (such as today), if it’s well passed 5pm, don’t expect anyone to answer your email. Don’t even bother to write any emails. The only place that has ever replied my email in the weekend are the insurance companies I signed up with as an international student. They are also the companies that doesn’t put you on hold for 30..no, 45 minutes just for one 40-dollar bill. Besides that, you don’t get much on the weekend.

7-day is also the possible number for taking leave. Of course, once again, this is very much an Australian thing. I’ve worked in the academia for two years and according to the regulation I was supposed to have vacation time, which never happened. After that I worked in the film company and we all used what’s app for communication which meant that I’m basically working 24/7.

To live in Australia, facing the sometimes inefficient (in my eyes) communication, envying the labour rights the Aussis have, isn’t a very easy thing.

But I’m too close to whining and too far from reflections on the project.

Back to the point, it’s the social constructed working schedule and the fact that Clinton is likely to take 7-day leave, that made End of April, Beginning of May possible. Of course my status as a research student who’s not in the completion stage helps as well. If I’m in completion I would have some trouble in not attending seminars for sure. I’m taking classes based on interests in dance and the kindness of the dance department.  I wonder if they’ll still have me back after being absent for three whole weeks. I dread to know. But anyway, you see, 7 is a magic number.

7 days, signifies something. It’s not only the spiritual possibility in the 7 (I don’t even know how spiritual 7 might be). It’s the fact that this number is deeply interwoven in our daily lives that matters to me. It’s also the fact that to get one production in the blackbox theatre, unless you own the space, otherwise the max you can do is to get in there in 7 days.

And on that aspect, a site-specific performing for 7 days in a row, may be very similar to a single performing project in door.

I still remembered I caught a cold after the 5th day in the theatre. The air-conditioning is killing. There were only one or two hour break between rehearsals and performances. And when there were two performances in one day, if there’s no sun in the noon, life felt very miserable.

It’s also the mindset that I have to get everything ready in these seven days that is totally similar to End of April…If I did not make something on that particular week, nothing would remain.

Among all the friends who came, there was only one friend who knew me before he knew Clinton. And he knew Clinton soon after he met me for the Hong Kong protest in Melbourne last year.

This magic number of seven, it consists of the days that you can ask for leave, it consists of the days that I can skip class. It consists of the days that my friends may have major assignments to do. But most importantly it consists of the basic element in putting up something performative both indoor or outdoor.

If I’m doing repertoire I’m sure it would be a total different story. I’ve only had chance to work in the smaller project that didn’t have a chance to become a repertoire. And I’ve only worked part-time or on a volunteer basis that I didn’t jump from one project to the other.

It is the utter fact that neither Clinton nor I were making our livings on performances that made this project very important for us. But it also meant that, no matter how hard it was to work with every element in it, there was still a sense of vacation-ness in it. Even if I was actually working between projects and study, I knew that I didn’t really need to push myself in reading two more paragraphs of Attali or Certeau. I did feel extremely anxious in not getting enough reading done, but after End of April I didn’t progress too much (partially because I was really sick).

The magic number of seven also reminds me of all the ordinary things that I would like to do, or have prepared myself to face, on the laundry, on the different deadlines in my school life, on the different deadlines for my other projects. It would be great if I could really take it as a vacation, but even I focused only on this one project, I would still need clean pants to wear at one point anyway.

The most important thing, in the project, besides all the performances that I’ve done with everyone, was the fact that, life still went on, no matter how tired I felt, how hard it was to travel between the city and the suburb, or the fact that I really wanted to sleep but I had to proofread for my Taiwanese project, or the sheer two-hour time differences that pushed my sleeping life to an extreme that I was still working after 12am.

It’s just part of life.

There were elements that I would really like to simplify for a performance project. But it’s not really an ideal world. The best I could do was to suck it up and pat my own shoulder in all those solitary moments when I was working very hard before and after the performances.

There’s no need bragging or over-emphasise the trifles in life.

But it is with all the trifles that I feel a little bit more humble towards the world.

Also, of course, it is interesting in finding connections between all the dots that I find commonly taken that I would have to reflect on it at a later time, such as the magic power of number 7.

[End of April, Beginning of May] Different Languages in One Space

Before forming MoeChee, I did public performances and participatory practices mostly by myself. For me, to work as a team was, and still is a very fresh idea. I never know it is possible to take risks with others other than myself. MoeChee taught me that to take risks with others may enhance our courage in performing, but it also meant responsibility in taking care of the other person.

To perform without permission may be nothing, or something. The actions we make in public space possess potential to re-evaluate the surroundings we are at. It also invites a chance to reflect where one is, and what one is, at that specific moment.

Before forming MoeChee I didn’t understand the term “moral support.” To perform with someone doesn’t necessarily guarantee support. Performing with Clinton does make me feel I’m performing “with” someone. We experienced the incidents in performances differently, but we were performing “together.”

After forming MoeChee, I went back to Taiwan. I curated three public interventions when I was home. There were conflicts with the authority, there were different ideals about interventions. I took the MoeChee team spirit back home. Now that I am in Melbourne again, I am the foreigner who wouldn’t have anyone to bail me out again.

All of a sudden, all these different positions and situations as a human being/citizen/foreigner emerge. It also reminds me to think more clearly of my own role in the coming event.

Clinton and I speak very different languages. There are similar things that we pay attention to, sound-wise we are both sensitive, and we have very similar working habits and patterns. I identify myself more as a performing artist/dancer, he sees himself more as an experimental musician. We are at very different stages in our career. Our gender also define our observations and actions in the public spaces very differently. And of course our nationalities have more or less determined ourselves as well.

All these things make MoeChee a very good team, because we are that different, it is a miracle that we manage to find some sort of harmony in our actions. What’s even better is that it is impossible to have absolute harmony in our improvisation or rehearsals.

Before reading Clinton’s note, I don’t even know he sees our performances as experimental. I just see them as performative actions in the public space. And it may or may not, affect the space. The term “performative” here is problematic and loose. What is the context there for the word, say, experimental? Compared to Clinton, I have very limited knowledge in it. Therefore, I can only say that, we will be performing, and the actions may be performative.

In End of April, Beginning of May, we would have guest artists most of the time. The performances (let’s just call it performances for now), just like the public space we are going to perform “in,” possess the chance to be polyrhythmic. For me, the most interesting part is the potential between harmony and chaos.

What I look forward to the most, is to be humble towards the surroundings. And see what would happen when I pay respect to actions Clinton and other guest artists make. I also look forward to the togetherness that may be formed, but not forced.

Maybe in the end we would still be speaking different languages in that space. Maybe the space is never singular. Or Maybe we would create alternative spaces. How lovely would it be if we create frictions in these differences. Who knows? I only know that I’ll be as genuine as possible, and take the responsibility, as a person, and as MoeChee.

Make It Up Club MoeChee Debut!

MoeChee (Clinton Green+ Chun-liang Liu) is going to have our first PERMITTED debut performance in Make it Up Club.

It’s an improvised performance of poem, sound, movement, and light.

Time: 9:00pm

Date:10, March, 2015

Place: Make It Up Club, upstairs at Bar Open, 317 Brunswick Street, Fitzroy 3065

Doors at 8:30 pm for a 9:00 pm start
$5/$10

http://makeitupclub.blogspot.com/