Photo: Bryony McIntyre

Aileen Campbell

As Jane Edwards and Geoffrey Rush

Aileen is going to attempt to sing a well known piece by Vivaldi, accompanied live by strings and a harpsichord, while bouncing on a trampoline for 20 minutes, the duration of the aria.  You, our audience, will be able to choose to see this live in the flesh, or relayed in real time to Cinema 1 in DCA.

Aileen is one of the most interesting experimental artists in Scotland right now, with a specific focus on the nexus of performance, sound and video. A trained chorister, with a beautiful voice, she’s super interested in how that voice and that training can be placed under stress, and to see what comes out of that stress.   Her best work often reminds us of the song/ body/ endurance video pieces of Charlemagne Palestine (for Aileen’s singing of scales while doing press ups, see Charlemagne’s throat singing while trying to cover every last cm of a room at a canter).

 

A lot of Aileen’s work is focused on the voice, especially in cinema, and how she can bring it back into contact with and proximity to the body. In trying to sing, and regulate her breathing to that task, while also physically exerting herself pretty strenuously and so having to deal with a totally different breathing rhythm, she creates a physical conflict with direct musical implications; how do you hold a note while knackered and bouncing? Seriously, we’re not joking, it’s a pretty interesting question. In traditional cinema, our mind tricks us into associating sound and it’s source based on what we see (moving lips, slamming doors etc.) while in fact the sound is coming from a set of speakers positioned around the cinema. By not privileging the live performance over the transmitted projection, Aileen allows you to choose between two very different experiences, though both containing the same material.  Is there a difference in this for you? If so, what is it? Maybe it draws attention to the disembodied nature of sound in cinema, or to the way we are forgiving of imperfections in performance but not recorded work? 

  • Video

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

  • Video - Edit

    Credits / license
    • CC BY-NC-ND 4.0