The Land Before Time II
Gabrielle DaCosta - electronics, poetry/Justin Cabrillos - choreography/Sam Yulsman - electronics, speaker-jacket design
"The Land Before Time II" is a solo performance piece incorporating dance, electronic sound, and text. The dancer, Justin Cabrillos, wears a jacket onto which speakers are attached. The speakers emit sound which Cabrillos directs through his movement. These sounds include a combination of processed field recordings of environmental sounds, and text with varied sonic valances. Field recordings evoke the physical landscape of a lonely, post-apocalyptic future-scene; in which natural and digital forces are mutually interpenetrating. Texts, complementarily, use empathically-spoken narratives in both human and computer-voices to establish an eerie parity between “natural” and “digital” affect. Texts include, for example, improvised and rehearsed human speech (excerpts from interviews and pre-written dialogues about significant personal memories), computer-processed sounds (a ReadSpeaker robot reads passages from E.M. Forster’s apocalyptic novella, “The Machine Stops”), and other electronically-modified voice parts. Texts and field recordings are manipulated by the writer (Gabrielle DaCosta) and the composer (Sam Yulsman), respectively, each acting with improvisatory agency and relative autonomy. Each aspect of the piece colludes to blur and interrogate the line between human and machine speech, emotion, and affect in a post-internet future.