Hit (Nuit Blanche)


Other version: Hit (Sounds Like)

Related projects: Hit Maker (Porto)Hit Maker (Sudbury)Hit Parade (homepage).

This is commission for the 2015 edition of Scotiabank Nuit Blanche in Toronto. Saturday October 3, sunset to sunrise, for the zone curated by Christine Shaw under the exhibition title: The Work of Wind.

Hit is a performance using microphones as percussive instruments to sound a space. Performers hit various surfaces with the microphones, while invited artists mix the resulting sound into a live composition over an array of speakers. The performance is raw and visceral. The violence of the gesture is contrasted by the fact that the performers are lying down. Hit focuses on repetitive and persistent beats that entwine sound, space, and time through a logic of labour and endurance. The rudimentary rendering can be heard as a lulling murmur or a grating noise; the volume will ebb and flow as the organic collective apparatus expends its energy. The performers are like stubborn automatons seeking to transpierce the material they are hitting. As sound factory workers, they leave their mark. The sound they produce is heard acoustically, but is also amplified and transformed. Hit is a live rhythm machine made up of arms armed with microphones used as hammers. The collection of overlapping chaotic beats results in a resonating rumble that resembles the dull roar of urban activity. Hit punctuates space and parcels up time. What if every moment of our lives was a hit?

Up to thirteen performers at a time lie face down where they proceed to pound various surfaces with a microphone. The sound of each person’s actions is amplified. For the most part each performer chooses their own rhythm and intensity. The sound is fed to a mixing console where a series of guest mixers manipulate the sound to an array of speakers.

Mixers: Mitchell Akiyama, Steve Bates, Chandra Bulucon, Allison Cameron, Martine H. Crispo, Fleshtone Aura, Jackie Gallant, Marla Hlady, Christof Migone, Don Pyle.

Performers: Randi Aiken, Donna Akrey, Jack Bride, Michelle Bunton, Ronnie Clarke, Amy Cunningham, Danièle Dennis, Sophie Dow, Natalie Duncan, Rah Eleh, Crystal Finn-Dunn, Ellen Furey, Ethan Hayden, Dorica Manuel, David Nichols, Nicole Nigro, Anna Norris, Robin Scott, Laura Snider, Swannjie, Christina Trutiak, Colin Tucker, Selina Twum, Steph Wechsler, Christopher Willes.

Photographers: Marla Hlady (first 26), Christof Migone (last 8). Video camera: Marla Hlady. Video edit: Renée Lear.