INCLUSIVE PRACTICE

HELICOPTER 2020 //

Pre-recorded backing track and voice for online music sessions for children with PMLD

ORIGINAL SONG Geoffa Fells

Performed by children from Cherry Garden School

FLY AWAY 2020 //

Pre-recorded backing track and voice for online music sessions for children with PMLD

ORIGINAL SONG Geoffa Fells

Performed by children from Cherry Garden School

OCTOPUS 2020 //

Flute, Electric Guitar, Trombone, Piano, Vocal Improvisation,

Electronics and Video.

Trigger warning - reference to sexual violence

 

Octopus explores the lives of survivors of sexual violence. It uses the metaphor of an octopus who blends its colours to match the deep sea environment to survive the waves and currents representing society’s misconceptions about survivors and pervasive rape culture. Inspired by survivors’ self-reported interoceptive drawings of how emotions manifest in the body as well as their accounts of the importance of creativity in healing, the piece shows a gradual growth from sounds and visuals about blending, hiding and surviving to ones about expression, confidence and communication. Metaphor and representation help to make this difficult, painful subject easier to discuss and interrogate. I chose the deep sea Octopus because it is an intelligent, perceptive and resilient survivor, able to withstand huge pressures and adapt to hostile environments. With survivors often facing disbelief or blame for not fighting back, the Octopus’s varied and colourful survival systems offer scope to show a full range of responses to trauma and validate them.

ORIGINAL COMPOSITION & VIDEO Geoffa Fells

FLUTE Ine Vanoeveren

ELECTRIC GUITAR Marcelo Lazcano

TROMBONE Thomas Moore

PIANO Umut Eldem

VOCAL IMPROVISATION Kate Smith

The deep seas are an under-researched, largely unknown territory, with 95 percent of the sea floor remaining unmapped. The dark and murky waters of sexual violence resonates with with this landscape. Strong currents of rape culture flow around us, often unseen and sometimes ignored, but affecting us all in some form. Through the piece, the staleness and suffocating nature of this culture plays out through breath holding sounds and moments of visual blankness. This contrasts with the sections about engaging with creative outlets and expression, which visually dissipate the the flow of rape culture, changing their course to form powerful, kaleidoscopic ripples of colour. When survivors are believed and supported, the narratives that act as the scaffolding to sexual violence are questioned and change course.

 

This piece is made with animated paintings, electronics track and scored instrumental parts and forms part of Geoffa Fells' 'Sounding Equality' PhD at the Royal Conservatoire of Antwerp.