lliezel ellick – risk (2017)

([Inaudible] text for our performance at Edge of Wrong tomorrow night.)

a bus stop. it is raining, minimal visibility so the sounds are amplified, almost threatening. not really seeing where the sound is coming from…or seeing what is making it…grinding metal, gaping mouth. colliding, hurtling, braking to avoid. I wait…my head is busier than my body in that moment. and moments similar to these always draw out thoughts of suffering, mortality, irrational fear, my loved ones dying painfully. the idea of being alone seems squared, cubed, today. waiting offers no solace, no purpose… especially when you are drenched, your shoes are squelchy. a dim floating orange comes floating through the hazy emptiness, the led display on the front of this bus is illegible but the glow is not long enough to suggest that it is going to my destination. it stops…grinding metal, the scent of brake fluid, badly maintained machinery. a door creaks open, outdated hydraulic movements. for the first time this morning, I catch a glimpse of something that reminds me of interaction. someone on the bus uses their hand to open a gap on the window. for a moment, just as the bus pulls away, their hand stops circling against the glass. I feel exposed, seen and wonder whether raising my hand in a wave would be the appropriate reaction. the bus disappears into the now empty haziness.

lliezel ellick, rosemary lombard & roxanne de freitas live at the window (2017)

Live non-verbal improvisation performed in absolute darkness, interacting with a cellphone recording from the day before, at The Window, an evening of experimental music, performance and visual art at the Theatre Arts Admin Collective, Observatory, Cape Town, 29 January 2017.

“It’s not easy to improvise… It’s the most difficult thing to do. Even when one improvises in front of a camera or microphone, one ventriloquizes or leaves another to speak in one’s place the schemas and languages that are already there. There are already a great number of prescriptions that are prescribed in our memory and in our culture. All the names are already pre-programmed. It’s already the names that inhibit our ability to ever really improvise. One can’t say what ever one wants, one is obliged more or less to reproduce the stereotypical discourse. And so I believe in improvisation and I fight for improvisation. But always with the belief that it’s impossible. And there where there is improvisation I am not able to see myself. I am blind to myself. And it’s what I will see, no, I won’t see it. It’s for others to see. The one who is improvised here… no, I won’t ever see him.”

— Jacques Derrida, unpublished interview, 1982, reproduced in David Toop’s Into the Maelstrom: Music, Improvisation and the Dream of Freedom: Before 1970, Bloomsbury, 2016, pg 21.

note to self (live at the blah blah bar)

A poem by Louise Westerhout, accompanied by Lliezel Ellick (cello) and Rosemary Lombard (autoharp), performed on 28 July 2016 at the Blah Blah Bar’s Open Mouth night.

Next time we’ll make sure we find a venue where rude men at the bar are not entitled to talk through performances…

gloomy sunday (live at the blah blah bar)

A version of the Rezsö Seress classic that we performed on 28 July 2016 as part of a collective which included Louise Westerhout, Lliezel Ellick, Rosemary Lombard, Debra Pryor and Roxanne de Freitas, at Blah Blah Bar’s “Open Mouth” night. We had had just two rehearsals, and I feel like this has the potential to go a lot further… Watch this space!