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Echo – speech recordings , Skolska28 |

The only material being used in this piece is human voice (ok, and background noise). I thought it would be worth to re-invent the situation from myth of Narcis and Echo. In this story nymph called Echo is able only to reflect the voice which influences the diminishing endeavour to initiate the relationship. I asked a few people to act in the same way, they could only repeat sounds, words or the last words of the sentences. The topics were randomly chosen and improvised.  We tried to reconstruct the communicational situation from the myth.

Was it successful? I don’t know. However the records made depicted some sort of communication without a dialogues, monologues with Echo. There is no exchange or interaction here but very intense Presence.

The most important are tones and colours and energies of the voices, each one of these private and individual. All records were made in Czech language. For myself as an initiator the most important thing is that when I don’t understand the contents of the spoken words and sentences I am naturally responsive to acoustics not the semantics of the language.

I don’t understand what do my characters not speak about but I certainly do hear all the Echoes, reflections, tones and melodies.

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There is only voice and flower left from Echo and Narcissus. But voice and flower represent also sound and image, and on the receiving end: hearing and sight. Favouring one side of this dichotomy in our relating to the world has to result in affecting the way of perceiving it. This story conveys the necessity of choice between the voice and the flower and so between sound and image, hearing and sight. This story can be seen as one of the first examples of obsession related to vision and the tendency to elevating one sense over the other, in this case sight over hearing. In the context of this myth one wonders why until today we speak and think about Narcissus as a person and build personal metaphors about this figure while echo is only an acoustic phenomenon.  Why did we forgot the name – Echo?”

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  Tomasz Misiak „Estetyczne konteksy audiosfery”, the School of Humanities and Journalism, Poznań 2009

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very special thanks to :
Petr Stibral
Jan Laska
Seslo
Pavel Hoke
Miloš Vojtěchovský
Veronika Resslová
Martin Blažíček
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