AVALANCHE CANDY (FALLING CANDY)
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Niamh Schmidtke 0:11
Hello, you're listening to Future Artefacts FM radio show hosted by Niamh Schmidtke. And Nina Davies.
Nina Davies 0:19
Earlier this year, several radio frequencies were discovered airing a collection of broadcasts. At first they sounded like regular news stories and interviews. They felt familiar, but also not quite belonging to our present. Slowly, the listeners came to believe that what they were listening to, did indeed belong to their world, just not their time. They were looking into the future through the mundane edges of radio recordings and public service announcements. While this material is still being meticulously studied by researchers in various universities and museums, your hosts have managed to gain access to this collection to air a selection of these broadcasts for you, our listeners.
Niamh Schmidtke 1:00
For full disclosure, we will not be sharing this collection with you, as this introduction is based on a fictional event. In this monthly broadcast, Future Artefacts FM, we will present speculative fiction pieces by artists and writers, followed by conversation with hosts Niamh Schmidtke and Nina Davies. The programme will focus on fictional works intended for broadcast, such as radio plays or fictional interviews, to carve out a better understanding of the now by exploring various interpretations of the future.
Nina Davies 1:34
This programme is kindly supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and the Elephant Trust.
Nina Davies 1:36
Welcome back to Future Artefacts. As per usual, I'm your host Nina Davies
Niamh Schmidtke 1:38
And Niamh Schmidtke. Welcome back to Episode Nine of the show.
Nina Davies 1:52
Today we're joined by artist Mary Hurrell. She is an artist working across sound production live performance, video and sculpture as a form of expanded choreography. She has performed and exhibited nationally and internationally with recent projects and performances, and Nicoletti contemporary Cafe Otto Jupiter rising Festival and the Bower. In 2018, she produced mappings, a trilogy of live and installation based work, mapping changes in state of an amorphous body created as one choreography across three sites at flat time house construction and central Boston in Spain.
Niamh Schmidtke 2:35
Welcome to the show.
Nina Davies 2:36
Welcome to the show.
Niamh Schmidtke 2:37
Yeah, so the piece we're listening to today is called avalanche candy. And it's an 11 minute Sonic choreography. Maybe just before we listen to the piece Mary, it might be nice for the listeners to know what you mean by Sonic choreography. We've talked a little bit about this before.
Mary Hurrell 2:56
So this this piece is it takes the idea of falling, physically and metaphorically as a choreographic tool
Nina Davies 3:07
We spoke about this before but is there a preferred way that you'd like people to hear it in headphones or out loud?
Mary Hurrell 3:13
It's better listen to on some good headphones or some really good speakers just so it's a bit more immersive
Nina Davies 3:20
great okay, well we're gonna listen to the work it is 11 minute minutes so we'll see you back in 11 minutes
Avalanche Candy work
you I think tonnes stress imprinting the surface, ice, pink, pink, pink, pink, confetti,
water, Blossom, snow
I am Captain way
softer Stokes it is a book on reefs
satin I call it a shells
behind behind diamond Blizzard suits
my forehead I say load lip lip lip lip lip listening Islam already is against the sky article article article article article my ribs she shall
burn ceramic flowers
cascading champagne flown ashes
of language in a way
vacuum syllable verbal mouth open bogus like strange sky melting
into specific gravity is complete I have a flow my boundaries transparent metal weight in blocks escalated by half
sent to good skins areas fall in love with seal tools in fact, I think feign control to hear from my craned creamed cranes, cranes, cranes, cranes cranes cream when I feel like for life when I feel like disintegrated See us
gold 19.3 water one blood 1.06 Milk 1.03 body 0.92 Blocked dive, propel drag and elimination she is like a V than upward pad pap float uniform sunblind goggles horizontal current coat latest shirt surface tension collars thin rotating desk sleeves rubber cuffs weight resistance underwear heat stomacher taper touch bodice time skirt identification pockets glimpses into local icicle digitalis mouth glimpses like the eye long peach thighs a pause before flight gravity waves cutting pleated water.
Wake up wake up
Niamh Schmidtke 14:58
We are live right now
Mary Hurrell 14:59
We are li--ve
Nina Davies 15:01
Welcome back, I hope you enjoyed your experience of listening to Mary's work Avalanche Candy. Mary's the name Avalanche Candy comes from Tatsumi Hijikata, scrapbook. How does this title relate to the content of the piece? Can you talk about some of the other influences within the work?
Mary Hurrell 15:27
Yeah, sure. So, Tatsumi Takata is one of the founders of Butoh. And he worked a lot with like this deconstructing the upright body and sort of the body's relationship to the earth and ground. I mean, I've always found like Butoh, quite inspiring and in, in the sense that it's a lot to do is like emptying out the body and holding images of nature or like these organic forms to create movement. And, yeah, so that was, I guess, relative to this piece, in a way. It's basically the title, I borrowed from a scrapbook of his, because it's sort of, like this idea of snow and candy are these substances that can be melted down and reshaped, but they're also like, temperature sensitive. So you know, it's like, there was warmth and coldness, it's like, quite similar to the body, like they can melt into liquid or become like, hardened and reshape. So yeah, so that was kind of the inspiration from the title. But yeah,
Nina Davies 16:29
Was, so when you say scrapbook, I'm imagining like my childhood scrapbook, what was the book made out of? Is it text or is it collage, images?
Mary Hurrell 16:37
I only experienced them online. Okay, kind of things. But they like sketchbooks, really, and I think you used to work a lot with language to produce movement, which I sort of had a relationship to you as well. And he was sort of collect images and texts and within the sketchbook as well, there was he referenced Francis Bacon quite a lot. Which makes sense, because Francis Bacon also used this kind of deconstruction of, of movement to create his paintings. So yeah, I found that quite an interesting connection as well, actually.
Nina Davies 17:09
I didn't I didn't know that. I didn't know that. But friends speak. But actually, I'm not like a great like, art historian.
Mary Hurrell 17:15
Yeah, I mean, he he's sort of used I think it's Muybridge, there was these first sort of shots of slowing down motion, and it sort of created like static shots. I think it was a horse. Oh, yeah. So it's like, yeah, these like, it's the first time that somebody was like working with photography to kind of decompose movement into like, static images
Niamh Schmidtke 17:35
Yeah, they're trying to figure out if, if a horse is galloping, or running, is there a moment where all four legs or all four hooves are off the ground? Yeah. And then in Francis Bacon, he kind of goes back and does these weird kind of collag-ings of like, medical imagery. And then the same way like imagery that sort of like trying to deconstruct to figure something out, in a way. But even like in, the deconstruction within this piece, and within that kind of collage work as well, it feels, I can kind of see that, that sense of like Francis Bacon's deconstruction, where it's quite a, it's human, but it's like, human plus, almost?
Mary Hurrell 18:13
It was a lot of like, sort of hybrids in Francis Bacon. Yeah. And there's like, I think the blur or like, there is like a kind of a glitch within his work, where you kind of, weird things, sensations, or like, different types of bodies sort of start to meld like I think, and often the figures in his paintings are like on the ground, or in these, like, sort of moments of transition.
Niamh Schmidtke 18:34
Yeah, or even I remember because, like, I grew up in Dublin, and they reconstructed his studio in Dublin in the year 2000. And it's kind of littered with all this reference material that's literally on the floor. So I can also imagine him literally looking down at the ground and then painting, so.
Unknown Speaker 18:51
Yeah, I think I saw his show this year at the RA. It's been like I've been refreshed. But it was I used to like, I think Francis Bacon was weirdly like the, one of the only painters I really like, I'm really not into painting. But I think because it's so visceral. The paint is like, so I don't know, flesh. So it's a lot to do with sensation his paintings.
Niamh Schmidtke 19:13
Yeah, I mean, it kind of brings me back to this piece as well, because one of the things I really loved in it, especially if I'm thinking about your work in relation to some of the other audio pieces we've had on the show, is that as opposed to kind of showing us or like leading us into this, this world, a sonic choreography, we're dropped straight in the middle of it. We're kind of in this world where embodied knowledge and the physical, the physicality of sound are guiding us.
Thudding synth noises, an alarm raising in the distance
Niamh Schmidtke 19:54
I was wanting to ask you, kind of, what was your intention in submerging us into the middle of this world? Kind of literally, almost like teleporting us in rather than perhaps this guide or, what's important about that to you?
Mary Hurrell 20:08
Well, I think it's quite it's quite simple and I've just because the piece is trying to create like a physicality of falling it just felt like I sort of needed to drop the viewer in, so they would fall into it. And I think that sets up an experience of the work where there's not like a linear narrative laid on top of it, or I guess, yeah, I just didn't want any preconceptions or pre ideas of what might be experienced. So it was like a setting up a space where the audience could respond to it physically. And like, yeah, immediately without, like, what's the right word unmediated, like unfiltered or something?
Niamh Schmidtke 20:46
Yeah, there's no kind of language that drops you and it's more so kind of what's your gut telling you as you listen?
Nina Davies 20:51
Yeah, so it's like an emotional, physical response, as opposed to the other type?
Niamh Schmidtke 20:57
Yeah, yeah, I guess the storytelling isn't something that is linear as well, which makes a large difference in that there's no point in kind of starting at a story. It feels much more so like, we're dropped in, and then we're kind of left to our own devices to figure out what's happening around us. I mean, one of the things that I find kind of interesting about that, as well, as you're then trying to figure out, are you the protagonist, sort of in this story? Does that make sense in this scenario? Are you sitting inside someone else's mind? I was kind of wondering about, do you see like a place for the listener within the piece in terms of, are they the main character of the piece? Or is it mainly their reaction to the work that you're interested in?
Mary Hurrell 21:42
I think both really, because I think the piece does, it does switch from, I suppose a first person-ish point of view to third person, briefly. But I think also, the way I work with voice is that it's almost like an extension of the body. So it's a manipulated voice through like digital synths and sort of different tools. So I think, in this piece, in particular, the voice is pitch shifted and modulated and sort of becomes almost like, I suppose, like a synesthetic representation of what, what might be happening to your physical body, if that makes sense. So I think this idea of like cross modal sensory experience, which synesthesia is often when people like, colour can represent sound, or you know, so I think, in the sense that I'm using the voice as a representation, or not as representation, as like a kind of exchange for the body or something. So it's like the...
Nina Davies 22:43
It's not coming from the voice, it's coming from the sort of embodied experience.
Yeah, I think it well, I guess, the voice becomes my material to treat as though it's movement in space.
Niamh Schmidtke 22:55
But it kind of also makes me think when you have people who are learning, any kind of musical craft to what 'x' kind of level or like classical skill set, the voice is treated as another instrument, but it's also something that's an extension of you. And then when thinking when you're talking about kind of feeling your way through it, like quite literally, I don't know, if someone listened to the piece in like loudspeakers, you quite literally feel the vibration through your body. So it's an extension of your body that comes back to affect you as well.
Mary Hurrell 23:26
Yeah, because I think I mean, when I, I've often, when I was growing up and things I used to sing in choirs and stuff, but I think for me, the the voice, you know, it's often like the melody line on top of things. And I think I was always more interested in the bass. I kind of like the undertones and the sort of strange sounds. So I think what I've been trying to like when I've been working with sound over the last few years, I've sort of been trying to push the voice more and more into like that zone. So it kind of becomes more physical. And I think, like a lot of how I think about sound is that it's vibrational and it's like a form of touch. And it sort of really does touch the body through vibrations. And you're kind of just reorganising how it does vibrate bodies or shift in space,
Nina Davies 24:11
when you're talking about the sort of physical experience of vibrations. Some of the themes that we talked about on the show, obviously, are about fiction, and I was thinking about whether in this work, you know, you're sort of using sound as a choreography, and whether this space is a sort of fictional space. So when the -
Mary Hurrell 24:30
Just I think on like an aside note, because I make costumes and garments for performance. I feel like there's this relationship between somehow like, the garments I make and the sound work as in they, they, they kind of create environments for the body to like go into, to put on and then it sort of changes, changes reality for that time, for that moment, which I think is sort of how I think about the sound pieces that it's, so it's both it's both a fiction as in much like a piece of clothing and fiction is that you know, you put it on you go, you go into it. But you, you have the choice to take it off as well. So it's like, yeah, and I also think because I, like predominately work with like digital sound production tools and so that there's this really strong like, digital materiality to do the work, which again, is like interesting in the sense that I think the digital space is it's so we're so intertwined with it in like in the fabric of our reality, but at the same time, I think it is this kind of still, strangely, like, it's impossible space where it does hold together, like the organic and the synthetic. It also I think, is a space which you can, your imagination and memory, it sort of replicates imagination and memory as well. So I think, yeah, so you can create sort of more, it's maybe it's more like a hyper version of reality, or like, slightly augmented or like, extra-extraversion, more extreme heightened? If that makes sense.
Niamh Schmidtke 26:02
Yeah, even thinking I had a friend in my BA, he was doing lots of research around kind of early internet age, and the ways in which kind of, that space online was described versus kind of the physical world. And one of the descriptors they had was kind of, like, physically, right now we're in the meat world, taking away this idea that online is not the real world, kind of, it's as real as physically standing on the ground right now. But it's also kind of trying to figure out a way to differentiate between, between the two kind of ideas of what that reality, can be.
Mary Hurrell 26:38
Well, yeah, cause I think you can't, I mean, we trust things that we can, like, touch physically touch or something. But I think, if you look, you know, all everything we have around us is a technology, you know, the, the desk is a type type of technology or so all of our lives exist within these kinds of structures. So think, the digital or AI or these things that we built as well, just like further extensions of those, but I think maybe it's because they're not visible or something that that sort of brings in this in this other mystery or this other.
Nina Davies 27:11
Yeah, I mean, I think about the like this, also, this, you know, the the work is really centred around like experience of falling. Falling as a, like the very physical like tripping over and falling onto the floor, or falling in love, or the like, all these different kinds of modes of falling and, suddenly kind of made me think as we're talking about this, whether there is a kind of sense of whether you can have a sense of falling in a sort of digital, in a digital space. And I was thinking about these sorts of directions, where I was speaking to a friend the other day, who works in computing, coding, and he was trying to explain something to me, and he made a document for us called I think it was like, high level, high level thinking, I thought, like, oh, wow, high level thinking, this is really cool. And he explained to me that actually high level is a is a term that's used when you're talking to corporate people. And low level is is like for people who like go deep into the, into the code. So the low level thinking is for, like, people who actually know how to understand, understand these languages. I know that I guess I kind of thought it was interesting, because there's kind of this direction already, like set in place that there's there's a high point and low point, or there's like, the surface, and there's going somewhere deeper, not that, like any three of us code and understand like those levels, necessarily, but I wonder whether, yeah, I guess whether falling can exist in a digital space?
Mary Hurrell 28:39
I think, I think, I think it can, why not? Yeah, I think I know. Yeah. Like, like, I think the differences is, is that the digital space to me, like and this is just my, in my imagination. It feels like it's 360 degrees. So it feels like almost like I can choose to use all directions or two. Because it is you know, the sound it is a it's an environment, 360 degree environment. So, I, but I think with this piece, and with this idea of falling, it's yeah, you can take it literally, but you could also it's also quite metaphorical. And, yeah, it's sort of it's sort of meant as a way to reflect on things deconstructing as a way of also reforming and sort of creativity kind of coming from things breaking down, or being reassembled or reorganised?
Niamh Schmidtke 29:37
Yeah, because when I, when I was listening to the piece, and I think in our early conversations, Nina about the work, I was saying, how it kind of struck me that you're kind of landed in the middle of this work, and then it feels almost like you're witnessing the birth of something. And for me, this idea of falling is like if you're a kid and you're learning how to cycle and you're scared of the fall, or you're learning how to walk Your scared of the fall. Once you do it a few times you realise it's not that, it's like it's scary in the moment, but it's not going to last forever. And so for me kind of almost the way the piece plays out is you get to a moment where whatever this kind of being is, whether it's the viewer, or it's someone else or, they fall, and then realise that it's not so bad, and they get back up again. So I guess I think about that relation also unfolding. It's like you're in freefall, you have this kind of extremity of maybe time is slowing down, or that your emotions are really strong. But you also know that at some point, it's going to stop.
Mary Hurrell 30:39
Yeah, I like that, it's a nice reading. Yeah, I think that's, I think, yeah, it's true. And I think I like the idea of it falling, because there's something about sort of it holds opposing emotions together, like something that's both maybe violent, but can also be kind of beautiful. But also, I guess, you could also look at the piece from a very, like, more abstract way as well, which connects a bit to like my interest in, like memory and time. And this is supposed to be like a suspended moment where it's like, time sort of slows down. And I like the idea of thinking about it as almost like fragmented images that have been sort of like, shortcut, like, as a shortcut, put together.
Niamh Schmidtke 31:20
Yeah, I mean, I feel like you can definitely read almost like chapters or images kind of starting and stopping as the piece kind of traversus from kind of one element like there's, there's a section where it sounds almost like a kind of wail that's then layered on top of one another, almost like a kind of chorus in different pitches. And then after, immediately after, there's like an automated voice. So it's like those kind of breaks of images feel very present in the work, like not immediately obvious. But if you kind of think back, you're like, oh, yeah, I can, I can have this.
Mary Hurrell 31:53
Yeah, I often think of sound as images sort of, like, don't know to me they are, anything that I do make digital collage work, which I think that those two things I do, do inform each other. So because obviously they're both working with the computer and like, I think, yeah, not in like a literal translation. But there's something of that.
Nina Davies 32:12
Do you think that how we understand music in in relation to sort of the real world is very cinematic, and do you think that that influences you in any way? Sometimes I think about when I'm listening to music in like earphones, walking around, life becomes like instantly cinematic,
Mary Hurrell 32:28
You're in a film suddenly.
Nina Davies 32:29
Yeah, like I guess like the depending on what kind of music I'm listening to, like changes the changes the film that I'm in on that day. Just when you said like sound as images? That's kind of the first thing that I think about is
Mary Hurrell 32:40
Like soundtracks. Yeah, yeah. I'm quite obsessed with film soundtracks actually, like, Yeah, I mean, like, really, I mean, when I was a kid, or not a kid, like a teenager, I used to buy the soundtracks to films and play them over and over again, I think because it's sort of then released me from the visual of the film, you kind of get to replay the film in your own imagination afterwards. So it kind of gives you this kind of you get the sense or the feeling back of the film, but I also, yeah, I do. I made a joke with a friend once said, yeah, like life. It's like a bit like a music video. Sometimes, if you just sort of have yeah, have a backtrack. And I don't know what I'm trying to say.
Nina Davies 32:41
But I know I do. I definitely. No. But I do think as you think about that. I've going to be like a guest on a friend's, like, podcast, who just wants me to make a playlist. And the playlist has to be themed. And I've called it like, this is not the vibe, or like, would this is not the vibe, when like, all you have is like power walking music on your phone. And then people ask you and you're a party to put some music on. And you're like, my music I listened to was not appropriate for this setting.
Mary Hurrell 33:49
Yeah. Yeah, that's, that's usually me.
Niamh Schmidtke 33:53
I also remember I had, I was doing a residency a few summers ago. And at the time, I was really obsessed with a lot of different science fiction films.Well, I still am. And I was watching The Arrival. And
Mary Hurrell 34:05
That's a good soundtrack.
Nina Davies 34:06
That is such a good soundtrack.
Niamh Schmidtke 34:07
Max Richter does the soundtrack and so I found he also has this really nice score that he can pose for a ballet called Infra. And, and so I was listening to that while I was making this piece. And I feel like the piece became this like really, kind of science fictiony thing because there was a subliminal, like imagery of this film and of this idea of ballet. And, I mean, I'm even thinking of I have a friend who kind of almost went through the process of being classically trained in piano. And she always described to me how different musicals and soundtracks and kind of classical scores as well. Usually like the way to remember them or distinguish them is to think of them as stories. I mean, so many, so many classical composers, none of them come to mind right now, but kind of have written versions to Romeo and Juliet, for example, or kind of right to like the Divine Comedy or these kinds of elements of, I guess more classical Western literature? I mean, that kind of storytelling as it is, yeah. Been going for like, a long time.
Mary Hurrell 35:14
Yeah. I think I mean, for me like soundtracks to I just, especially not in all filsm, but often they, they provide like the emotional, the emotional sort of setting or something and they also, it always feels like it's like the fluid running behind the film, you know, like because it's this Yeah, just like waves and you kind of you're led, you're led through the imagery with the sound. So I think I've always liked the idea of like, taking away the imagery, because then it, yeah, it situates you in that place instead, if you just have the soundtrack?
Nina Davies 35:52
I just want to be clear that we're not talking about musicals. Yeah,
I mean, well, yeah. Musicals actually, I'm not a huge fan of musicals. Yeah, that's
Well I was, like, not just talking about music in..
Niamh Schmidtke 36:02
Well, I think I think the idea is it's it's music that does storytelling, but without, without spoken language without narrow
Mary Hurrell 36:10
Like non linguistic.
Niamh Schmidtke 36:11
Yeah, like you don't you don't need to understand English or French or whatever language to understand.
Nina Davies 36:18
Yeah, sort of going back to, I don't know, maybe thinking about like these sort of soundtracks, soundtracks and listening to music as sort of like creating sort of images, I was thinking about how they always sort of happen in the sort of liminal spaces. So like, the parts of my life that feel like a movie are always like, on a train, on a bus, walking somewhere, like it's very rarely like it's an experience that I'm actually, that exists on its own. And I was thinking about how a lot of your previous works, look at sort of like the in between states of being and I might ask you to explain it a bit. But yeah, the falling as a as a sort of like liminal inbetween space, is like the moment that thing that you trip on, and then the and then the fall, like, once you've hit the ground is sort of the end of the fall. But maybe first, it'd be really nice to contextualise it with some of your previous work looking at the sort of inbetween states?
Mary Hurrell 37:13
Yeah, that's I really liked that idea. It's true. Like buses, trains. Yeah. I love going on these things. Weird obsession with transport. Yeah, so I think this, I think, working between, in the inbetween or these between states. It's hard to describe really why but it's just always like, somehow made sense. I think, like spaces of transition and shift feel like very interesting to me, because they are often heated up spaces or like over like, what's the right word? Like? Like combustion?
Nina Davies 37:59
Mary Hurrell 38:00
So it's where things..
Nina Davies 38:01
In a sort of chemical?
Mary Hurrell 38:02
Like kind of an in the chemical sense as well. Like, yeah, it's often where things like a hybrid? Or can, there's like space for it to be undefined. Or it could move in any direction? Or, like, that kind of excites me that it's like, this is not fixed. That's maybe a bit abstract, but um,
Niamh Schmidtke 38:19
Yeah, it's like, the outcome is still like completely undetermined. It's like you're in the middle of a process, rather than setting up for an outcome.
Nina Davies 38:29
We actually, like in a weird way, we spoke about this on one of our previous episodes. In Akinsola's episode, by understanding of binaries as like, as a whole, as opposed to two, like, you know, you have one thing and its opposite. And the best way you can describe that it would be like your hand is you have, like you have one face for your hand and the other face in your hand. But it is still the same thing. So binaries..
And it's the movement that kind of links those sides or those Yeah, like not necessarily moving. But there's something always yeah, I know what you're saying, yeah.
Niamh Schmidtke 39:01
They're intrinsically linked. Yeah, kind of the back of the hand and the front of the hand, unless you want to peel back your skin it's, there together. Yeah.
Nina Davies 39:10
I was thinking about that with some of the ways that you look at the sort of transitory, yeah, transitory states, you know, they're still the same, it's still the same matter of it's still the same, like, it's still the same thing. I know, that's not necessarily what your interest is. Yeah, there's something interesting and sort of, I guess, also, like, there is sort of our perception, that we put those perceptions onto it, it exists in these three, three steps. I would like when you look at gas, solid and fluid, fluid, like that we think of them only as these three things, but you're trying to kind of, understand those in between.
Mary Hurrell 39:47
Yeah. Which is I should say, which is that, that body of work, Mappings. So that was, that was 2018 and it was like it was yeah, I did a I did a residency at Flat Time House just before I started like the trilogy of pieces. And that was quite, I guess quite influential because John Latham like worked a lot with this kind of like, ideas of like glasses like a transistor, transition state and like, all his, his materiality was very like linked to his kind of, sort of scientific and art concepts. And yeah, but then that, yeah, that trilogy was basically there was different entry points to it, but each part was a different state of water. So it was kind of crystallised or like I state and then went into the more intermediate, amorphous state. And then the third was like, I guess, like vapour to liquid again, yes, I didn't know it was like to have a cycle most but how I made those things in, you know, physically in the world was two, it was a combination of, like, working with sound and performance, and some sculpture, and garments, and all of the materiality within it, including the sound sort of worked a lot with, like movement, and like, either speeding up or slowing it down, or like, weight, so you know, like, some of the garments were really tight, or, like stiff, and then with like, really big racks used to, like, make to kind of create a movement that was like really, much, influenced. Yeah. And similarly, the sound like replicate that. And then the next phase was like, the same. I worked with, like, the same sound piece over each part, but like, really morphed it for each thing. And yeah, and like, worked with, like glass and rubber, and wax, which are all sort of these materials, which are, which are hybrid. Yeah. Real sort of. Yeah.
Niamh Schmidtke 41:48
I'm thinking about glass and wax, they kind of start in these like, very, very hard like, glass literally coming from sand. It's kind of very hard particle that has to be heated to such an extreme, but then only becomes the glass that we recognise when it's then cooled again. So it goes like to the extremes, like the scale.
Nina Davies 42:03
like glasses, glasses always, is always liquid isn't it?
Mary Hurrell 42:09
Well, I've actually I because I went to the Henry Moore Institute, like weeks ago. For a symposium, and they've got a whole exhibition that at the moment about glass, and the woman like completely ruined my, I always thought like, glass was still moving, but apparently it's not. Which is really gutting. Yeah, I was like, what? So I don't know. But I think I think on a molecular level. Yes, it is. But I don't think I think I'm not sure it's not
Niamh Schmidtke 42:36
Like it's not going one day drip out your window.
Mary Hurrell 42:38
Yeah, it's I think, like, physically, I don't know, you'll actually ever see it. It's kind of drip, yeah.
Nina Davies 42:42
I mean, like, I don't even know where, you know, you can question my science. My sources are questionable.
Niamh Schmidtke 42:49
Like, tick tock and podcasts?
Nina Davies 42:54
But isn't that what they say? Like, glass of really old buildings is thicker, ever, so slightly thicker at the bottom?
Mary Hurrell 43:04
Yeah. That's what I thought,
Nina Davies 43:05
Mary Hurrell 43:07
And apparently it's not. Yeah, it's like, up until two weeks or three weeks ago, I thought the same. And currently not.
Niamh Schmidtke 43:14
I mean, I wonder if there's something with contemporary glassmaking because they would have to put some other kind of, I don't know something, emulsifier or agent within it. Also to toughen it and also to have it be more uniform, more consistent, more likely to not break or be fragile, or I don't know anything, but anyone who knows anything about glass making in the contemporary era, feel free to send us an email, I guess my my guess would be in the past there was, it was there was less like other stuff in it. So it had more space to like, maybe drip a bit, or?
Nina Davies 43:56
I hope so. I love the idea of a slow, slowly shifting material.
So it'd be coming back to the sense of falling as a as a sort of in between state. I don't know because sometimes I think about the first thing that I thought about one of the first times I listened to Avalanche Candy was actually the, and you're probably gonna roll your eyes at this, was the you know, the scene in the old Disney. The old Disney Alice in Wonderland where she's like falling, into the rabbit hole.
It's like, yeah, and it's like she's falling for ages. Yeah.
Niamh Schmidtke 44:34
And it's like the scale of everything changes really dramatically as well, as she falls through. Yeah, it's like at the top everything's feels like related to her world. And then as she goes farther and farther down, it's like Where, where are you ending up?
Nina Davies 44:48
Yeah, and you don't know where the you don't know where the I guess it'd be this idea of kind of going down this tunnel like she's, you know, it's she doesn't really know where she's going. And you don't know what the, until you've obviously seen the film before I read the book, you actually don't know where she's gonna end up and whether the fall is just going to whether it is just going to go on forever.
Mary Hurrell 45:07
I think that's quite nice in relation to this work, actually, because I think the, the sort of the body or the person that you're travelling with, yes. The protagonist Yeah. Is, is quite, you know, undefined. It could be any age, any gender, any physicality any like so I think you're sort of situated in a place of like not being that defined. So I feel like, and it's also quite similar to my process of making sound actually, I kind of am just going with like my feeling. And that obviously there is like some conceptual construction, but really like it is a bit of an adventure into the unknown. And you're just like, kind of finding like finding sounds to kind of articulate where, where you're going. So there's something similar about actually the process as well. Yeah, which is nice.
Nina Davies 45:57
Mary Hurrell 45:58
Yeah. But I think yeah, that's a nice image. Actually.
Nina Davies 46:02
I think there's a Yeah, I think there's like a whole, there's a whole I've so remember, when lockdown first happened, I did the classic thing or thing I like went on Udemy. I was like, I'm gonna learn how to, I can't even remember like, what course I actually signed up for. But it was something to do with like digital coding or something like that. Maybe it was like VR. And of course, like, it's just, it takes longer than you think it does to learn these things. And I thought that it just like matrix, just like put it in the back of my head and I'd suddenly know how to make VR. But the course started with like, they wanted you to read a story. And the story was about falling. And it was about these three characters that were fall-, that were falling. And it was like two men and a woman. And he could tell that the woman was like, yeah, the woman didn't want to be with him. And he kept thinking about the end, like what would happen at the end. But then he realised that there and then half with his story, he realises that there is no end to the fall. They're just going to continue in this state forever and ever. I wish I could remember the name of the story. But I guess maybe the, that also brings me back to this idea that with falling it like there implies a sort of gravitational pull. And I was wondering, where if there's sort of like a, if there's something that's pulling, like, if it's gravity, or for this for this character? Like, is there an end? And what is that end? Oh, yeah.
Mary Hurrell 47:34
I think the like the end of this sound work shifts into a slightly more lighter, I don't know, it feels like the, the feeling of it changes to the last third of it something and it feels like, I mean, I've been thinking it'd be quite nice to like, continue the sound and like see where it goes next or something, but.
Part two, that'd be nice. Chapter Two, which I guess would be walking, maybe? I don't know.
Niamh Schmidtke 48:05
Broken Bone. Or the fall and the drop? Yeah. What what is the impact?
Mary Hurrell 48:11
Yeah, I don't know. I feel like a lot of my work does come from like, personal feelings about things or life, but it just it felt like this. It feels like at the moment, there's so much confusion in the world and like so much. It just it felt, it feels like sometimes my emotions also like quite, you know, this is something there's a reflection, or a kind of connection, obviously, to like what's going on around me. So it felt, the pull, I don't know, it just feels like this kind of, there's been in within the world there's been this kind of continual cycle of crisis collapse and then, but then there's been some really positive things that coming out of like some really nothing's changing so and it just feels similar to like, yeah, to
Nina Davies 48:58
Freefall kind of,
Mary Hurrell 48:59
Yeah, like these, this kind of like things needing to kind of like, end or shift but like, sometimes those shifts happen like through things that aren't comfortable or like but I don't, yeah, I don't know the gravitational pull is It's just don't know. It was just it just it felt like it felt like something I wanted to explore this like a physical state. And as..
Nina Davies 49:21
I guess it doesn't have to be like the other, other states have fault. You know, when you've talked about like falling in love or falling?
Mary Hurrell 49:27
Yeah, and I think I think desire is often something that comes up in my work as well. And I think like this, it's something I find quite intriguing as a human who desires things and you know, people and like, I think it's kind of it is like this, you have a pull, like when you want something or you know, it's you have like sometimes you don't have the control that you want to have because you're just like pull towards the thing. And then there's often like repercussions of like, that kind of pull, because you find yourself in a different place because it's sort of like can be very strong. And I don't I mean, just within love, but like, you know this in many different forms, aspects,
Nina Davies 49:45
Like a force that sort of greater than, greater than you, yeah,
You can like be pulled towards things sometimes as human like, yeah.
Niamh Schmidtke 50:11
Yeah, like the craving and such. I mean, it's making me think about how you're saying before, making the work was quite instinctual as well. I'm wondering, was there when you're making the piece? Do you have any kind of, I guess, craving or falling towards certain ideas or modes of making also because it's, it is quite a physical piece, in the way you listen to it, it feels very emotive. And it, it feels like something like I find it quite strange listening to the work while just sitting down. I felt like I wanted to move.
Mary Hurrell 50:44
Yeah, you wanna move a bit.
Niamh Schmidtke 50:45
Mary Hurrell 50:45
Yeah, I think the but I think that's, that's the hard thing to describe, because it's so like, the way work is so intuitive and instinctual that it's kind of like, it's a bit of a pull and a push. So it's like, I have a feeling about something. And then I find a way of articulating that with a sound. And then that pulls me further into the next thing, but I think there was definitely the last long form sound record, it was like, the language is very articulated very clear, with the text sorry. Whereas this I really wanted to play with like disintegrating the text into the sound so that the barriers between those things start to blur a bit more,
Unknown Speaker 51:25
Green, hyper-red, melodrama, Rose, hip, selfie, nocturnal era, Torch Song, night orchid, Shadow Dancer.
Niamh Schmidtke 51:49
Yeah, and even in the piece, it feels like the sections where you have an automated voice that's reading script. It feels like there's much more information and understanding in the sections where like, it's verbal, but it's not, it's not quite language, or at least it's not english.
Nina Davies 52:06
It's going into like more of a bodily sort of sensory language. Yeah.
Sort of the way the wails which I've re performed for you a couple of times already.
Mary Hurrell 52:22
Yeah, I think...
Niamh Schmidtke 52:25
we're sadly coming to the end. So we're on the on the final, the final question. One thing that for me, keeps on coming up, again, and again, in this conversation is that kind of link between the bodily and maybe the machine, and even what we were talking about just before in terms of like, feeling like there's more understanding or recognition in something that seems bodily rather than in an automated voice? I wanted to ask you kind of what what's your own relationship of technology like, how it's sort of informed the creation or production of this piece? I mean, you've referred to kind of the computer as a tool before, but maybe you can expand a bit on that?
Mary Hurrell 53:08
Yeah, so I mean, like, the way I work with sound is yeah, I mean, I predominantly use my own voice, and then different sort of types of software and field recordings and some digital synth stuff. But I think I really like working with my computer, because, because I see it as like, my sort of, yeah, tool and I like the kind of implicit digital materiality I have with that. And that, you know, yeah, your computer like kind of houses, everything is like this kind of strange machine in a way, that becomes such a part of you. But I think, I think the ratio between like the, I guess the nonhuman or technology for me is, is interesting, because, you know, we kind of created we kind of created technology, and then but there's also this thing where it's kind of taking on its own life, I suppose. But, but I still feel like the way I'm using it is, is as a tool to to articulate more like internal languages or body languages or knowledge that I feel like yeah, it allows, it allows. I don't know if that, does that make sense, but.
Niamh Schmidtke 54:31
I guess I'm wondering a bit about kind of one thing I feel a lot with the bod- with bodily or like embodied knowledge, for example, is it feels quite warm and close and kind of lived-in, in a way, whether as technological knowledge or kind of through through computer or machine or any piece of technology, because there's, there's that thing that mediates it, or there's a thing in the middle, that there can be a coldness there. Is that kind of, I guess conflict, something you're interested in within the work? Or is it like trying to overcome that? Or?
Mary Hurrell 55:06
No, I think the conflict I am interested in because I think there's, and I think in this piece and the last one I made, I think I am playing a little bit with this, like kind of authority that we give to for instance like AI or, you know, like these kinds of voices or systems that we use. And I think, in a way, it's like, it's kind of like playing with that authority, but like then rerowning it as well and sort of maybe decentralising, that that thing, where you like, you kind of put your, this trust into these machines? And but yeah, I think, I don't know, I think it's quite, it's quite the cold, yeah, there's sorry, yeah, there's I really like this term that I found recently for, I think it's probably would describe the kind of sound I make, which is like bubble gum industrial, which is like, you know, there's an I think that really sums up like how I think, like, I'm really into noise, music, and like, really like these kind of heavy things. But then I also loves this kind of like, really sweet, almost like sickly sweet. And I think I can only really do that with something which is both cold, like cold and warm at the same time, or.
Niamh Schmidtke 56:17
Yeah, because it's kind of like you're softening up the thing that has all the hard edges. And, but then you're also giving that thing that's maybe a little bit too squishy, a little bit of bite?
Nina Davies 56:27
Well, I wass gonna say that the work is like, I feel like the work is very, I sort of, my interpretation of it is that there's sort of this character, that you're embodying through listening to the work, and I'm unsure, but whether that character is sort of, sort of the birth of some sort of like computational thought like this, there seems to be this kind of experience of like, kind of becoming human. And I guess that pole between these sort of like wails, which sound maybe a bit like, some sort of demon baby being born, and then you've got the coded language, like the kind of like, not the coded language, but the sort of robot languages as well, sort of these different things. But then also, I do feel like the works very sympathetic to that character, like, I guess, with this idea of birth, do you think of something that's very? What's the word not, like, fragile or vulnerable? And so yeah, I feel like it's quite sympathetic to to, to whatever or whomever this character is, yeah. You kind of feel bad for the character. I don't know why, but I'm kind of feel bad.
Mary Hurrell 57:35
No, I like that. I like that. And I think you said to me as well the other day about, um, yeah. Almost like a learning like, somebody learning something, a child.
Niamh Schmidtke 57:44
Yeah. It felt like a toddler. Yeah, it was, in a way learning something for the first time for itself,
Mary Hurrell 57:51
I think. Yeah. I like that. I mean, it's, it's an I think that's it's open to interpretation. Basically, I think there's something about maybe like, the automated or the, like, this world we're in with like artificial intelligence stuff, right. Like, we don't know what what will come back from that world. But also, we created these systems. So it's, I just feel like there's, it reflects back on human qualities as well. And I think and I also think like, it's strange to kind of believe that these things are cold because, that I think there is emotion imbued within, within these technologies.
Nina Davies 58:33
Well yeah, it's..
Or that they have the capacity to kind of hold like dreams or like imaginations about things.
Yeah. I mean, they definitely do. That's sort of what our last episode was about.
Niamh Schmidtke 58:47
Maybe, maybe that's a nice, a nice point to end on. Yeah.
Nina Davies 58:51
I think that's a good place to end.
Niamh Schmidtke 58:53
I'm aware we're going a little over
Nina Davies 58:55
No, I think that's perfect. I think machines being able to hold dreams or have dreams I think is like a perfect place to end. Yeah.
Niamh Schmidtke 59:05
Yeah, if you want to see any of the works, we talked about today, Mappings is available to see on Mary's website, and the other longer audio work we're discussing was Blush.
Nina Davies 59:16
Niamh Schmidtke 59:16
Blush Response. Well, thank you very much for listening today to this episode of future artefacts FM with Mary Hurrely, and herpes Avalanche Candy, we look forward to welcoming you back later on
Nina Davies 59:31
Niamh Schmidtke 59:32
Yeah another eight weeks
Nina Davies 59:33
Great. Thank you.
Mary Hurrell 59:35
Thank you, bye.