In September 2021, I arrived at Collemacchia, Molise, Italy, for an art residency at The Museum of Loss and Renewal. Collemacchia is a tiny village, in a network of tiny villages in a mountainous region spearheaded by the town Filignano, and further, Venafro. Each village is reachable via a vast network of ancient paths, all built onto the mountain sides.
I was part of the Taking Time/Prendendo Tempo residency, and I began to walk on a daily basis, often at a very early time of 6.30am. I would record the vast outdoors on my walks, by taking a handheld and homemade contraption for a stereo mic setup. In these moments, I would listen to a heightened awareness of ‘the sounds of wild things’ and this would often envelope my senses.
Through this, I began to sketch along the various paths that I walked, in places that I would pause at. Both heightened sounds and mountain scenes gave way to a fun number of site-specific improvised sound-sketches. I wanted to create visual work based on a very visceral gesture, a quality of stroke inherent in my cello work. In addition, I wanted to further explore my sound sketches as graphic scores.
An idea was born to write compositions based on text, combined with these graphic scores which would highlight the routes I took, and the sense of places that I experienced, around Collemacchia.
The compositions are open visual/sound/play spaces for anyone to step into, regardless of where one is. The idea is to provoke a sense of place wherever you are, noticing things, and being a performer amongst other performers in a durational piece that lasts as long as you want it to. The piece is also being performed by the things around us that we are often not aware of. However, while you are playing, you are its central point, and so, wherever you move, the visual/sound/play world will move with you, envelope you, and re-shape itself around you.
At the residency, I handmade a prototype pocket book called, “21 Things to do in Collemacchia”. It is a book to put in your pocket while you walk. And when you find a place to sit, take out the book, a pen or a pencil, and begin to draw on its pages.
In the near future, I will be making a limited run of the first edition of this, and if you are interested, then please let me know.
All content created, produced, and copyrighted by Semay Wu 2021.