Each of these thoughtful, headphone-friendly audio performances offers creative connection and escape, designed to help with one emotion you might feel during isolation.
Artist in Residence features the work of New Zealand choreographers, theatre-makers, musicians, poets and artists including Bic Runga, Coco Solid and Mohamed Hassan, and was commissioned by arts and culture journal The Pantograph Punch.
The series is broadcast on RNZ Concert, at 9:45pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings in June, or listen on line here.
This week we're featuring the final 4 episodes:
Nisha Madhan is an Independent artist and current programmer of Auckland's Basement Theatre. Her episode was made to be listened to when you’re feeling uncertain or off-centre.
Nisha says, “I wrote this while listening to the afrofuturist, sound artist and prophet, Sun Ra. I’ve always found great freedom within myself when listening to his music and lyrics. Perhaps because they make me feel like I can forget this world, and take pleasure in finding another whenever I need to.”
Nisha recommends listening to this while imbibing liquid or ingesting food.
'Electric blue witch-hop' is what musician Estère calls her unique brew of electronic, folk and R&B. Her episode is called A Symphony of Reassurance, and was made to be listened to when you need to feel reassured.
She says it was 'created to give an intimate "snapshot" into my process of finding reassurance. With the listener, I want to explore the sonic textures of things that bring me a sense of calm and reassurance during this time of major life readjustment.'
‘The setting is at my mother’s house on the Kāpiti coast, where I begin a transitional journey that (as with most symphonies) is comprised of distinct movements. The first movement is inside the introspective realm of the household where I ‘dilly dally’ about - making tea, lighting oil burners. The second movement is exposure and connectivity to the world outside, to nature, and to the elements. The third and final movement synthesises all sonic textures into a meditative musical composition.'
A Symphony of Reassurance was created and performed by Estère with lead guitar and bass by Ben Lemi.
Movement artist and poet, Jahra Wasasala, created her episode to be listened to when you’re rupturing, empty, or looking to gather your scattered parts to rebuild. The evening before the revolution, or the morning after.
Jahra calls it ‘an offering for the uprising times. For anyone who‘s been waiting. Spoken by the ones you‘ve been waiting for, whoever they need to be.’
It's performed by Jahra Wasasala with composition and soundscape by Paloma Schneideman and sound design by Byron Coll.
New Zealand Music icon Bic Runga created a piece of music as a tentative celebration of starting to come out of lockdown.
She says, 'The 6-minute instrumental piece was made during our switch to Alert Level Two after seven weeks inside, where my mind had the time to run the full gamut of feelings; sadness at the news, gratitude that we were safe, despair, many ominous feelings, but often hope as well that there was a huge potential to reset our world...It's an apprehensive disco for one, as we tentatively leave our houses again; a Mumsy disco to help get your groove back on. I hope it makes the listener feel happy and relaxed anywhere they are listening from.’
Level 2 was created and performed by Bic Runga, with bass hook by Cass Basil.
‘Woven’ is created and performed by Kai Tahu / Waitaha writer and taonga pūoro musician Ruby Solly.
It was made to be listened to when you feel disconnected from whanau, whakapapa, and whenua. It features sound design by Alistair Fraser and Byron Coll.
'The Forest of Hands' by acclaimed choreographer Sarah Foster-Sproull was made to listen to when you need to retrace touch.
Sarah recommends listening to this in a corridor, with just a little space to move.
Frances Duncan, also known as Claire Duncan, is an interdisciplinary artist. Her sound designs, music, videos and writing bleed across territories of alternative music, theatre and art.
Her 'Seven Suns' was made to be listened to when you feel out of time. She says, 'Listen while somewhere under the sun – wherever that may be.'
The theme music is by C. Frances Duncan and Ruby Solly.
Coco Solid is an Auckland musician and screenwriter/director with a Ngāpuhi, Samoan and German background.
Her episode was made to be listened to when you feel existentially overwhelmed and are looking for a sign. She recommends listening in a cosy position and outfit, in a psychedelic mood, uninterrupted, either wearing headphones or on a mean system.
Music and sound design is by Tokerau Wilson with additional sound design by Byron Coll.
Pōneke/Wellington-based theatre-maker and writer, Jo Randerson’s episode was made to be listened to when you want to change things up.
Jo says, ‘When I feel unsure, annoyed or lost, the best place for me to go is outside. Being in the air, with the trees, with the ground and the sky, the energy always flows better, whereas in a small whare with your whānau you can get stuck in a feedback loop, where one argument just bounces around for hours. Every time our family leave the house, everyone's mood picks up. The elements of the natural world are an essential circuit breaker and place of re-orientation for me, so when this project arrived, walking was the obvious choice.’
The music and sound design for this episode is by The Phoenix Foundation’s Conrad Wedde, with additional sound design by Byron Coll. Dramaturgy by Thomas LaHood.
Mohamed Hassan is an award-winning Auckland journalist and poet as well as a podcast creator for RNZ. His audio performance was made to be listened to when you’re having trouble falling asleep.
When lockdown began Mohamed began having the strangest dreams. He says, ‘They’ve come crashing into my life. Vivid. Anxious. Surreal. Every night, without fail, I am plunged into a parallel universe in which I’m burdened by a weighted sense of importance and tasked to play a vital role in a mystery of my own making….I posted something about it on social media, only to be met with a flood of similar stories from my friends all over the world. As it turned out, I wasn’t alone.’
'Still Life with a Pool of Dreams' was created and composed by Mohamed Hassan, with sound design by Byron Coll.