Palimpsest

Collaboration: Noise music, dance. (35 mins)

The Cloud of Unknowing is a noise-dance band by Paul Michael Henry and Alex Mackay. Palimpsest is our ongoing performance investigation based on manipulation of political speeches and adverts.

Try walking down an urban street without absorbing instructions on what to buy, how to feel, or unsolicited companionship in the form of ‘comfort messages’ from billboards and pop songs. The acculturation is total: the feel of your body, the thought loops in your head. The need for relief. Palimpsest is an ongoing exploration of how these messages can be brought into the open, subverted, resisted.

Palimpsest I: Iain Duncan Smith took recordings of IDS’ outpourings about immigrants and the unemployed, twisted them into melodic shapes, overlaid them with drone guitar, looped vocals, smoke, strobe lights and pulsating dance, and juxtaposed them with our offering of flowers to individual audience members. The naive / sincere offer of the flower is intended as a quite serious alternative to the IDS’ monologues: a vibrant specimen of natural life, more eloquent than anything IDS could ever muster.

Subsequent performances will choose a different ‘target’ for source material each time. We’d like to take these narratives down one by one, an endless endeavour of joy and frustration, an attempt to share with our audience the HUMAN that’s crying out underneath the bullshit.

Palimpsest has been performed at Anatomy Cabaret (Summerhall, Edinburgh 2016). It is available for touring (contact Stephanie K. Hunter with booking enquiries).