Instruction score, single channel video with sound, 17 min 10 sec
”Muted Situations are proposals for sonic situations to be heard anew, achieved through a re-prioritisation of different sound layers. Certain layers – in most cases the sonic foreground of such situations – are consciously muted or suppressed, and as a result the less-commonly-noticed layers are revealed. Instructions on how to stage these situations range from specific directives, to more open approaches that require negotiation with the participants.
Mute is not silence. Muting is not the same as doing nothing. Rather, the act of muting is an intensely focused re-imagination and re-construction of the auditory. It involves the conscious suppression of dominant voices, as a way to uncover the unheard and the marginalised, or to make apparent certain assumptions about hearing and sounding.
MUTED SITUATION #2: MUTED STRING QUARTET - ‘Stage a performance of the entirety of a string quartet of the classical period composed by a European male composer without projecting the musical notes. This must be done without a diminution of the energy that is normally exerted in the performance of the composition in question. Ensemble-ship, phrasing, engagement of the bodies and all other factors pertaining to the performative intent of the work must be preserved as far as possible, but the bowed musical notes are not to be heard. Suppress the consciously sound-producing constituent of the performance. As a result other sounds will be revealed, including but not limited to the breathing of the musicians, the sound that their bodies produce, the sounds and pitches that their left hands produce when pressing on and sliding up and down the finger board.’”