Beating/Breaking Shell

Beating/Breaking Shell is a duet featuring live violin and dance. It is inspired by concepts such as light/dark, chaos/order, death/rebirth, stillness/motion, pure geometry and arithmetic. A main focus throughout the work is architecture, the use of external and interior space within the sound and within the room, and the sensation of presence within the space. The piece consists of two main and four sub sections, evoking tension and in a dynamic tapestry of sound and movement. The ultimate effect is a visceral experience of beautiful shapes unfolding, weaving in and out of each other and resonating within the body of the viewer.

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Photo by Brian Hartley

The piece began developing through an exchange of emails, musical sketches and videos through the internet. Without the physical presence and the information that can be derived from being in proximity to another, there is only so far a piece of live performance can be developed. So in a sense the ritual, the rules, were established long before work in the studio began. It is no coincidence, then, that the feelings of unity vs. dichotomy and of merging and fusing opposites should feature so prominently in the making of the piece. The first section of the piece was first performed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow through Dancehouse in January of 2009. The second part of the piece was developed in Brooklyn and shown at Open Perform through Movement Research in March of 2009.An earlier version of the piece was performed at the Soundings festival in Aberdeen on the 31/10/09 as part of Dance Live, followed by a symposium on music and dance the next day. With support by Creative Scotland it was then developed for the opening of Trongate 103 in September 2010.