tweety stuff @ronanfromcork
first published in @The Evening Echo 2014-9-25
‘How These Desperate Men Talk’, a collaboration between site-specific theatre pioneers Corcadorca Theatre Company, composers Eat My Noise and the playwright Enda Walsh, who wrote and directed ‘Ballyturk’ which recently sold out the Cork Opera House and ‘Disco Pigs’ (originally produced by Corcadorca), has been one of the stand out events of the 2014 Kinsale Arts Festival.
Director Pat Kiernan describes the story as revolving around “two guys who, like a lot of characters in Enda’s work, are stuck in a story and the play involves them refining and retelling the different elements in it. Neither of them want to face up to the truth so it creates an interdependence between them, they are more comfortable in denial.”
Pat explained how Eat My Noise got involved with the production, “Corcadorca were going to do the play, and then we heard that We Are Noise were looking to do something at Kinsale Arts Week too, so after some conversations we decided to try a piece together, one that was on a much larger scale.”
A lot of Corcadorca’s work have been site-specific pieces and in this case it is held entirely in the Graepel Metal Perforation Factory in Kinsale. David Duffy, one third of Eat My Noise, explained how it is has informed their compositions, “there have been regular site visits since July and the space has been influencing every decision we’ve made since then. The first two full days we were based full-time in there we spent just wiring and rigging speakers. Early on in this process due to the scale of the factory we decided we wanted speakers pretty much everywhere, 16 channels of audio going to 42 speakers. That was all very easy to talk about in design meetings, the realities of making that happen were let’s say, interesting! Since then we’ve been in the space till 4am most nights, the only time when the factory is quiet, sound checking and spatialising all of the pieces we’ve written in our studios.”
Eat My Noise have been quite busy in the past few months, “our last full project was our site responsive mini operetta ‘Spindle’, which we performed for the Big House Festival last August. We managed to assemble a 30 part choir for this event which was held in a forest, which the audience were led on journey through over the course of the evening. Slightly before that we premiered ‘Moiety’, a piece for two percussionists, live mapped projections and live electronics, for Cork Midsummer Festival.”
David has found working in collaboration an interesting challenge, “obviously the big difference is you’re not centre stage in theatre. Our main role is to support the text and help translate the piece’s message across. Pat was keen from the outset to allow moments for us to do what we do, and help direct some of the promenade elements. So there are some installation elements and pure musical moments in this show.”
Pat had a clear idea of the structure of the piece and where those musical moments take prominence, “the text is broken into four sections, with the journeys between each of those sections filled with visuals and sounds, different elements of the production draw upon the nature of the metal fabrication factory.”
Even the prepared sound is from the space, David described some of the techniques they used, “from the outset we knew we had the benefit of an acoustically unique space. We’ve really let the space inform our design, spending a lot of days hitting and recording every piece of metal we can find in there, and believe me there’s a lot in a metal perforation factory. We’ve then been taking those samples home, and stretching, chopping and processing them to create a whole sound world based primarily on metal and found sound. The music than has our usual electro-acoustic flavor throughout think Nine Inch Nails and Jon Hopkins scoring a piece for a Tarantino film.
The space has also informed some of the characterisation in the play, as Pat continued, “it’s quite a butch atmosphere to be in such a factory, it’s a slantwise look at male behaviour, it’s not just what they say but also how they see it.”
Pat has found the collaboration with Eat My Noise to be a very satisfying experience, “the primary thing is that we are working together as artists. On-site I suppose I do have more experience working on productions of this scale, but I’m learning off them all the time too. Sometimes people don’t realise that every show you make is unique, while you might draw upon what you’ve done in the past, each production is something being done for the very first time.”
‘How These Desperate Men Talk’ runs two performances a night (9pm and 11pm) until Saturday 27 September. Tickets are available at http://www.kinsaleartsfestival.com.