Visit the Opéra Garnier at the end of this month to experience a new sound and video installation of Oliver Beer's video work, Composition for Mouths (Songs My Mother Taught Me), 2018.
Originally created for the Biennale of Sydney, Composition for Mouths is a video-performance work that marked a radical turning point for the artist, whereby the performers' bodies became vessels, transformed into acoustic spaces for the duration of the piece.
I asked the singers to recall the earliest songs they remembered from childhood (which in Sydney revealed very diverse musical roots: from Aboriginal melodies to Indian Ragas and a Christian missionary hymn for children). I incorporated their melodies into a new compositional form. Joining their lips in a tight seal to create a single mouth cavity, the singers explore the resonant frequencies of each other’s faces as well as the architecture. With no-where else to go, their lungs are emptied out through each other’s noses, and, at the meeting point of the two voices, a third voice appears. — Oliver Beer
The work will be presented in a specially adapted 16-speaker sound and video installation created in collaboration with Devialet using their audiophile quality speakers. It’s an invitation from Thanks for Nothing as part of Paris Art and Commitment Week.