Monday, 15 November 2010

We sat together the mountain and I, till only the mountain remained...

Leggate Theatre Artist

Andy Houlden- 'Three Short Walks in Time'

This piece really stood out for me as it was unlike anything I have experienced before. It is set in a small theatre environment, in which the audience are seated in a horse-shoe formation, looking down towards the artist and an accompanying orchestra. The music that this small orchestra played was soothing, and quite beautiful, and was, to begin with, accompanied by a series of photographs.

Next the artist did a performance piece which involved a toy which marbles would be dropped into repetitively, which created a clunking sound. I got the impression that the artist wanted the marbles to drop in time with the music, but I didn't think it was quite to the beat. This really frustrated me and I found myself willing the marbles to drop on time, focusing on the rhythm intently, becoming increasing agitated. After watching this performance, I discussed my frustration with my friends, who didn't seem to have noticed that it wasn't quite in time. Maybe I was being overly picky but this slight clash of rhythm made the beautiful music irritating...

This same thing happened whilst the artist repeated the statement 'we sat together, the mountain and I, till only the mountain remained'. I focused on the artist concentrating on the conductor, waiting for his queue, on occasion he would miss the queue, and I felt uncomfortable watching him try to find the rhythm again. The statement itself was really quite profound. During the rendition, when not consumed by keeping a rhythm in my head, I could imagine a snowy mountain, with a man sitting huddled at the top, waiting to die. The phrase 'till only the mountain remained' suggests that the mountain will last eternally, but mortality will take hold of all of us human beings and links to themes of existentialism and time.

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