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Black Metal Cloning

Now my residency at Isabelle Schad’s Wiesenburg Halle is finished (a place with more or less no internet), I can blog a bit of what I’ve been up to in rehearsing Black Metal 1. Firstly, I cloned myself.

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Costume Tryouts (“None More Black.”)

This week, I am in Wiesenburg, the workspace hall of my good friend, choreographer Isabelle Schad. She asked if I’d like to have a short residency here while she’s away – yet again – on tour in France and the US. I said, “Yes!” and thought, “Oh dear, what am I going to do?” Well, ideas that have been percolating on and off for a couple of years and bashed out in bedroom rehearsals earlier this year get to run rampant in the huge hall. There are many things here, a kitchen, courtyard, garden that becomes almost a forest, all in a 150 year old former homeless people’s asylum that’s been growing into a said forest for 60 years. One thing there isn’t much of is internet, so I’m slipping this out while it functions: some costume tryouts from today and Monday … “None more black.” (And while we’re talking about music, I discovered one of my favourite mediæval chicks, Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) was also a prolific composer; I’ve been using her O tu suavissima virga, recorded by Sequentia, and sung by Barbara Thornton.)

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Specific, distinctive, original, the whole body in…

Specific, distinctive, original, the whole body invents; the head likes to repeat. Head, stupid; body, brilliant. Why didn’t I learn its creative force sooner? Why didn’t I understand when I was younger that only the glorious body could be taken for real? This is why, in the twilight of my life, I sing of it, for the edification of my successors. What are you going to do in the high mountains, at your age? Prepare my writing. Study, learn, certainly – something of it will always stay with you – but, above all, train the body and have confidence in it, for it remembers everything without weight or overloading. Our divine flesh alone distinguishes us from machines; human intelligence can be distinguished from artificial intelligence by the body, alone.

Variations on the Body, Michel Serres