Stoma

 Stoma  is an interactive installation inspired by Samuel Beckett’s theatrical monologue entitled Not I.  A short excerpt of the text is used as the canvas on which a series of interpretations/performances of it builds up. The visitor is invited to perform in this voicescape by firstly recording his or her voice reading the same text for 40 seconds and then by listening to it for the next 6 minutes as it overlaps way with other recorded and disembodied voices inside Stoma. The audience is expected to provide a focused listening to the piece in order to fully participate in the performance.
 
The concept behind this project is supported by two parameters that interconnect. Firstly it is the treatment of a theatrical text as a musical score in order to give to it a new angle of interpretation and a new edge. Secondly, that decontextualisation is achieved by the use of the human voice. The performer provides his/her personal version of the text and witnesses a process of voice recognition and exploration within a gradually evolving electroacoustic soundscape.
 
As the piece progresses, the listener becomes aware of   his/her voice subtly changing through a series of automated movements and hopefully recognises the musicality of its resonant frequencies. Its fusion with other unknown voices of previous performances, enviromental sounds and electroacoustic treatments creates a supportive environment where it will become more apparent how musical, present and yet absent it can be. It is indeed an interesting process to listen to these voices and sounds correlating and overlapping as it can lead to a diversity of realisations depending on the listener.
 
Stoma is therefore a process of decontextualisation for both text and voice. It simply suggests how one should listen to a voice by paying attention to details other than its content and context. It is an intimate moment of accepting or even re-evaluating one’s own voice. Voice is the personal sound imprint of oneself and Stoma is an open channel to everyone who wants to explore this idea. 

Stoma has received the award for outstanding artistic achievement by the Nagoya University of the Arts.

It was exhibited at The University of Brighton (2007) and Athens International Video Art Festival (2008).

 © 2020 by Maria Papadomanolaki.

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