m6: A DYING DIALECT

Public Video Installation, Sound Designer/Composer, 2019

m6: A DYING DIALECT is a story about art, and about truth. It encourages us, as humans (who are neurologically wired to devour stories in order to make sense of the chaos we live in) to continue reaching towards artistic expression as a means of finding truth, in an ever-changing world. At its core, the piece asks us whether the inherent responsibility of art is to be truthful, and whether that, in itself, is even possible. Through the fusion of two worlds; Reality and The Hive, we consume naturalistic and performative modes of storytelling in antithesis, and question whether one style of cinema and sound is inherently more truthful than the other. We aim to develop and critique the concept that anyone is capable artistry, and thus exposing truth, as long as they are in possession of a camera device, by comparing two very different artistic expressions and through the close of the narrator’s monologue. Is one narrative better than the other? Is one a higher form of art? The culmination of prose and spoken word poetry illustrates the need for new ways of connecting, understanding and telling stories, and does this by speaking directly to the audience. The dialect of engaging with art is at a serious risk - with our connective critique and deep exploration of artistic ideas steadily dissipating.

The sound design for m6: A DYING DIALECT is centred around the idea of reaching for truth. Reaching outwards and inwards in the search to uncover and unravel truth. The minor 6th interval sonifies reaching outside the comfort zone, unsteady: an inversion of a much simpler, easier interval, the major 3rd. The melody following the minor 6th uses the whole tone scale, moving constantly forward and upwards without a clear resolution or resting point, until instances of slight downward motion, moments of acceptance of the futility of the search. But the search does not stop with the acknowledgement that there is only many subjective realities. Underneath the melody in Reality is a series of chords (resonators on recordings from everyday life), which change the meaning and emotion of the minor 6th interval. Firstly, the comfort zone and a reach outside it (Am9), to a sense of optimism in the search (E9), and finally a frustration with the impossibility of the question (Bm9), each interrupted by the hopeful urgency (D9) of The Hive. As Reality and The Hive cycle over one another, their meaning and emotional resonances shift.

Two related but distinct worlds: smooth resonant chords under disorienting conversations on truth in Reality, and tense, hurried rhythms under an emphatic, performative monologue in The Hive. Perpetual, uneasy motion in The Hive creates urgency underneath the text, communicating a warning for the future. With young people at the forefront of this project’s mind, m6: A DYING DIALECT facilitates an important discourse surrounding the power of art as a means of finding truth, the critique and judgment of art, and true connection in an urgent world.

Concept
Sound Design and Composition

Written and produced by Maiah Stewardson. 

Curated by Chira Grasby for 2019 Carclew Emerging Curators Program.

Screened May 29 - July 28 2019 at the Breezeway, 25 Pirie Street, Adelaide. 

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