Photo by Anna Camilleri.
created in 2018
In 2018, May I Take Your Arm? premiered as a live, interactive performance featuring Alex Bulmer, pre-recorded audio, tactile installations representing five neighbourhood locations, and live action video projections. The audio crafted for the show follows Alex and people from the neighbourhood (previously unknown to her) who were asked for an arm and a walk to a “significant somewhere." Together they walked and talked, all an attempt to assemble place, geography and architecture through story. Please find below a link to the entire audio track for the original 2018 performance.
click/enter "track info" (viewed as an icon on the right side when mouse hovers over the track) to access enhanced audio player and view transcript
click the .docx icon below to download a copy of the transcript
We began with audio, with listening.
We began with a desire to explore a neighbourhood through sound and story.
So, in May, 2018, RDA invited 8 storytellers who had a connection with “Cabbagetown/St Jamestown” to share a walk of their choosing with Alex Bulmer, and we audio recorded these walks.
As an artist team, we weren’t exactly sure what we were “making,” but the starting place was listening, and we have primarily been led by what arrived, by what was encountered on those walks – stories, characters and of course “noise.”
Early in our process, Alex said “sound without meaning is simply noise.”
I have lived in the Cabbagetown area for 20 years; through this work, I now hear my neighbourhood anew. What had always been there in the background as chimes, bells, beeps, clangs, scrapes, hums, buzzes, creaks, chatter have emerged as melody, harmony, rhythm: the resonant drone of airplanes (a never-ending presence in 2018 giving way to a strange quiet in 2020); the piercing ever-present bird-song; the rising and falling hum of traffic in the not-so far distance.
- Tristan R. Whiston
Co-Creator, Sound Editor/Dramaturge