Blood In My Wires, Dust In My Breath

Screen grab, Blood In My Wires, Dust In My Breath, underwater and coruscation video filming by Kirk Schwartz

Blood In My Wires, Dust In My Breath is a set of scores for live vocal performance with video, electronics, processed voice and recorded text. It was commissioned by Roles4Women through the Canada Council for the Arts, and had a premiere workshop performance in June, 2018 at the Factory Theatre in Toronto, Canada.

Video camera and editing by Kirk Schwartz.
Video performance by Lori Hamar and Tina Pearson.
Photography by Lyssa Pearson
Second Life Machimima by Liz Solo
Electronics by Tina Pearson
Audio recording, processing and editing by Tina Pearson

Timed Map with Storyline texts

Blood in my Wires, Dust in my Breath is a sonic, visual, and performative meditation that weaves intersecting realities of ancestry, migration, dream, virtual worlds, networked technologies, and the multiple possibilities posed by quantum physics. Imagining a possible non-human future, it explores what cellular information, memory or code might be carried from the past into the future, and one form of reality to another through an ancestral story of pre-industrial flax and linen, a family memory of displacement through war, and more current experiences of virtual worlds and avatar identity.

The visuals of the piece, revealed through a continuous video composition, link two worlds: One world is the area surrounding my current home in the traditional territories of the Lkwungen and WSÁNEĆ peoples at PKOLS Mountain, Beaver Lake Park, French Beach Park, and a secret lake, all on Southern Vancouver Island near Victoria, BC.

Another world is that of the online 3D environment Second Life, where my avatar, Humming Pera, creates and performs audiovisual pieces with other networked beings.

The voice over narrative is framed through an imagined and fragmented afterlife virtual presence, and recalls memories of my mother’s childhood in 1930s rural Poland up to her arrival at a German concentration camp, combined with abstract memories of sensation, place, and connection.

The audio portion of the piece is compromised of four elements: a mix of very low and very high sine tones tuned to create shifting beat frequencies in the room; two virtual instruments played in Second Life (the sine tone instrument of Humming Pera, tuned to th AC currents of Europe (50Hz) and America (60Hz); and a virtual mixer designed and played by the late composer Pauline eliveros); recordings of my extended and processed voice; and a recording of voice over text.

A live non-verbal vocal performance accompanies the piece, using extended vocal technique, sonic mimicry, sonic meditation and deep listening practices in its realization of a physical presence underneath the layers of experience reflected in the narrative.