for bass-flute, live electronics, and video
preview containing excerpts from the piece:
bass-flute: Shanna Pranaitis
text and recorded voice: Layli Long Soldier
video: Arom Choi
performance in video: Mónica Sanchez
composition and electronics: Iddo Aharony
“Now / make room in the mouth / for grassesgrassesgrasses” reads the epigraph opening Layli Long Soldier’s poetry collection Whereas (2017). This collaborative piece emerged from a thirst for some of the liminal spaces that these words seem to invite us to open — between voice and place, breath and earth, perhaps “now” and memory. Whereas is in part a response to the Congressional resolution of apology to Native Americans, a document of carefully crafted legal language signed by President Obama in obscurity in 2009. Long Soldier’s specific poem which both inspired this piece and is woven into its fabric, “Resolution 2,” is adapted from the language of this Congressional resolution itself. However, its text — “I commend and honor Native Peoples for the thousands of years that they have stewarded and protected this land” — is put into question as it is disassembled on the page before the reader’s eyes: its words are listed top to bottom, one by one, at the very left of the page; meanwhile, the rest of the page is made of empty space. Within this space two words float, reappearing in different placements — “this” and “land.” Each iteration of these two words seems to carry its own timbre, density, and frequency, carry its own questioning of how this language has been used in the past and present, carry its own defiance. breathwatersoundcannon was created as a dipping of a toe into a fraction of the many streams potentially flowing out of this poem’s empty spaces.