Future Exhibits: Shaman

A work in progress, Shaman currently consists of 9 audio recordings. Each recording is built around a different reading of four pages from Haruki Murakami’s book, Underground, about the Aum Shinrikyo gas attacks in the Tokyo subway. There will eventually be 12 recordings, one for each casualty of the attacks.

Shaman began as a series of compositions, but has evolved into an installation at the MVM. It is housed in a dark room, where the floor is made of salt. Through monitors set in the floor and in pedestals set within the walls, the compositions softly play accompanied by ghostly videos.

Underground is one of the most touching books we have ever read. As you read it you can hear the myriad stories being told. Four pages in particular touched us. We photocopied these pages and set them with other inspirational materials, atop a Kurzweil sampler - where Duke rediscovered them years later while recording an eight and a half hour “work” composition. He read them in their entirety as part of that work. And then broke them out to be the first in the Shaman series.

Over the next two years we found six voices we wanted to add to Shaman. And then, while installing a piece from our series of performances/compositions Sounds For Office Environments, we saw the dark little alcove at the MVM that screamed out for Shaman. This space has transformed into an environment for the compositions.


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