Karen
Christopher

we went to Berlin, Berlin gave us spirals

We went to Berlin and Berlin gave us spirals. We were looking for the sound for miles & miles.

The progress was this way: 1) visit to a spring factory 2) listening to the springs with contact mics 3) jokes about inventing the wheel

The attention and different tensions, a grip and release, a kind of tuning that goes in and out, that gives way and grabs you, it winds up and down, it decays, it leads and leaps, it trembles, it lays down fine, it ambles and asks, it leans down for a closer look, it never returns. After working from the outside in we decided not to invent a new instrument but simply to misuse an existing one.

Boris got a guitar out (a baby Taylor) and began plucking strings and de-tuning them. And then Sophie and Karen began exclaiming and proclaiming it wonderful.

The pursuit took us to Gropiusstadt, to Sauerbier Spiralfedern GmbH and then back to Bernauer straße to attach contact mics and then the other room for the baby Taylor.


btw: zugfedern = tension springs
and druckfedern = compression springs

Tags: zugfedern, springs, spirals, Sophie Grodin, miles & miles, druckfedern, Boris Hauf, Berlin

Posted on Friday, 26 June 2015 by Karen Christopher

we asked for a 55-foot note and he complied

We said, answer the question: "what never stops?" We said, angular rhythm, something with a 55-foot note. We said, your idea. We said, a dialogue with contamination, with influence, with subsonic itch. We said, make it vibrate. Boris Hauf made some music for us and it is good.

Boris Hauf designed music for Control Signal listen here: TOPSY hear him live at the performances in Bristol or London.

photo: Jemima Yong

Tags: Wickham Theatre, University of Bristol, Jemima Yong, duet, Control Signal, Boris Hauf, Chelsea Theatre

Posted on Thursday, 26 September 2013 by Karen Christopher

Chisenhale week in which we remember that real life continues even now

The crime that we didn’t commit, that we committed not to commit, is to stop living while we make this piece, even in the final phase in which push is coming to shove. If we are squeezed between a rock and a hard deadline it think we’d just as well get comfortable. If it is close, we’ll just cuddle that cut-off.

Working at Chisenhale was great. We were in the main space so we had depth of space and beautiful sunlight coming in through the windows. We also had jackhammers. It was time to replace that old cement with bricks outside in front of the building across the street. This was our sound track while we worked with Boris Hauf who created some excellent sound for the piece. Litó Walkey worked with us as an outside eye and helped corral our thoughts and aspirations into a more minimal package. She helped clarify the images we were working toward.

It all happened as we hoped: some time for showing the guests artists what we were doing (had been doing or thought we were doing or hoped to be doing), some time for them to explore the city and think about us working without them in the studio, some time for us to work without them, some time for them to come back and say we missed you yesterday and thought about you as we wandered the city, more time to work, some time to have a meal together. I didn’t sleep enough but otherwise, it was great. The piece has been combed and parted, we got the extra bits out. Now we just have to do better what we’ve got left. We’ll work it and run it 6 times before we go to Bristol and then it will be complete.

Tags: Chisenhale Dance Space, Control Signal, duet, Litó Walkey, Sophie Grodin, Boris Hauf

Posted on Saturday, 14 September 2013 by Karen Christopher