remembering when you were different - 2017 (Whitechapel Gallery & Goldsmiths College, University of London)

Over the course of 18 months I facilitated group vocal improvisation workshops, exploring instructional scores about memory and the potential for a collective improvised songwriting form. This work eventually led to a sound and score installation which provided some insight into the experience of remembering through our voices. Each score asks the performer to engage in the act of remembering. In the installation format they are presented with corresponding sound pieces, the origins of which are manipulated field recordings of live improvisations, prompted by the scores.

In the workshops and in the installation the participant is asked to consider the question, what happens when we vocalise our sound memories? How can we listen more carefully to each other and use our voices to experience and discover our relationship to our memories?

These sound pieces start a conversation with time and memory. In the moment of the improvisation the performer is entirely present and simultaneously recalling past experiences, making a leap of mental time travel. Through remembering while we sing or make sound, we are engaging and activating our sensory memories, felt and expressed bodily.

In the form of recorded sound pieces, these co-compositions act as a third moment in time, creating a relationship between the memory recalled, the moment of improvisation and our recollection of it in the form of sound.

I am grateful to all the participants of ‘remembering when you were different’ and to The Sound of Memory Symposium at Whitechapel Gallery for including this work in their conference - if you’d like to be involved in future workshops and research email hello@genevievedawson.com