2020: A Sonic DiaryVisit
Written and Performed by Lonelyspeck (Sione Teumohenga) [they/them] and Dan Thorpe [he/him] on Kaurna Country.
The last few months has seen a shift in the urban sound landscape and a change in the ecological audio environment. At the same time, as this unprecedented quiet, the human world is loud with the sounds of resistance and change. Do you hear a different world? Or is sitting still and listening the best we can do?
This was a very unique collaboration for me, firstly as an artist who primarily works in a short-form pop format, but most of all in how the process unfolded with Dan. In making a piece that’s largely about connectedness, wellbeing and active listening, I can’t say I expected our correspondences to so fittingly be just as much about checking in on each other and talking through our mixed-up feelings in these uneasy times as they were about developing the actual composition. I really feel that the piece is born from those conversations and as a result represents a shared emotional journey through the strangeness of dealing with life and creating work in a time like this.
– Lonelyspeck (Sione Teumohenga)
A lot of art I have really admired, as a consequence or by design, has felt like an exercise of community care. That is to say, I’ve left the theatre, or the concert, or the gallery feeling like an artist has exhibited care for me and everyone else in the room.
When Sione and I started making this piece together, it was very much about our mutual anxiety around COVID-19 feeling like a trial run for the ever escalating global climate crisis that governments seemed to be failing, but also the hope that perhaps with the momentary quietening of capital that people would be able to listen more closely to what was happening to the planet. But, as 2020 marched onward into what my friends have been referring to as “the hell zone”, what quickly became apparent was how much we needed to care for each other. As Sione mentions in their note, so much of this piece became about checking in on each other, and I think that shows. Making this with Sione has been the most reaffirming thing I’ve done this year, and I’m eternally grateful for their reassurance and presence.
For me, then, this piece is a sonic diary of what it’s like to have been politically and socially engaged the last six months. What it’s like to read about your doom and the doom of your friends every day. What it’s like to watch the colonial machine march on, even when there’s mass resistance. What it’s like to sit paralysed in the face of all of it. What it’s like to share all of this with varying degrees of severity on a mass scale. We hope this piece helps you in the way that making this piece together helped us. I hope you feel the care I so often chase from art.
At the end of the day, the hope we hold is for each other; and we hold it for you, too.
With love and solidarity,
Dan Thorpe is a queer Performer//Composer based in Adelaide, South Australia.