Imagine a Canon (2019-2020)


Image by Shai Levy

A performance iteration of various ongoing lines of inquiry into identity, coloniality, music and memory. In the 20 minute performance, a text written and performed by Coila-Leah Enderstein plays from a bluetooth speaker placed inside the grand piano, guiding the performer and public through possible connections between sites, events, traditions and narratives. The performer creates a literal web from thread, woven between episodes of sounding at the piano that are each prompted by variations of the refrain, "Let us find a beginning. Let us imagine a canon." 

“I approach the piano as a mutable, fluid entity: a sounding body, a tool for representation, a machine produced by (and reproducing) modernity, and a possible site of transformation.  With a live event I invite a public to join me in attending to the complexity, and urgency, of the "post"-colonial.

This forms part of an extended project of not-taking-for-granted: an attempt to undermine epistemological hegemony and look towards non-rational concepts of sound and sounding as possible sites for relation, self-determination and healing. Along this path I recognise the invention and instrumentalisation of notions such as tradition and nation, whether for oppressive or liberatory aims. I want to attend to possible essentialisms and foster my own “ecology of agencies and refusals” towards them.

I have spent time attuning to the ways in which the piano is constituted according to particular, situated understandings of acoustic phenomena. The preparing of the piano is a way for me to transform what is given as fixed; I am not trying to find new sounds, but reconfigure my listening and pathways to and through sounds. Sometimes the sounds are metaphors, other times they are aids for contemplation. Sometimes they are just music.”

Video of full performance available upon request.