Islands of One

Here are four sonic narratives about experience and place. A consideration of mind and body—not so much the more traditionally held dualist notions, but rather a meditation on the fragility of whatever thread it is that holds our sense of self, and reality, together. Most sounds, other than my speaking voice, are recordings from my then home, Pender Island, British Columbia.

texts (opens in new window)

1. What is this island?

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2. One way or the other

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3. Sparkling, gossamer – this was how it seemed

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4. You think you know what you’re doing

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Islands of One is the first work in which I have used my speaking voice as material in conjunction with an autobiographical text. For me this was quite a difficult decision because on the one hand this could be deemed insufferably narcissistic, and yet on the other hand perhaps the only way to make art about phenomenal experience is to tell it how it seems, first person, as an account extrapolated from personal experience—but going further. This is also the first piece I composed with headphone listening in mind, although it has also been performed very successfully in various other situations.

Islands of One was selected for the Media Show of the Electronic Literature Organization in 2008 and has been presented at several concerts and galleries including The Western Front, Vancouver; De Montfort University, UK; WFAE 2011, Corfu, and broadcast on BBC Radio 3 alongside other works and an interview. Created in 2007.