Angela Rawlings

Angela Rawlings graduated from the University of York to become a well-known Canadian poet, editor and multidisciplinary artist. She successfully published her first book Wide slumber for lepidopterists, which proceeded to win the Alcuin Award for Design and was nominated for the Gerald Lampert Memorial Award. She worked with Derek Beaulieu and Jason Christie to co-edit the book Shift & Switch: New Canadian Poetry, and has also co-produced On the Money for Toronto’s Fringe Festival.

Being an avid researcher in sound, text and movement, you can clearly tell Angela is performing all three components in this video with her partner Maja Jantar. She and Maja have done much collaboration together, performing for audiences at Ryerson University and many other schools.

Wanting to know what Angela Rawlings was up to now, I spotted this quick interview with her and Kate Greenstreet, where Angela announced that she was with a group of brilliant performing artists. She states to have begun the process of ‘translating the text’s content, structure, and white space into choreography, sound score, and light plots’. She and her partners are set for Toronto events at Nuit Blanche and Harbourfront Centre’s Hatch: Emerging Performance Projects.

After reading all of the collaborations and partnerships Angela had in her past, I believe it is fair to say that her inspiration greatly comes from these people. Her friends and fellow partners have had a great impact on her life and studies. Maja Jantar, like her, has studied sound and text. Derek Beaulieu and Jason Christie have played with poetry for quite some time, and have obviously inspired Angela even more. Rawlings was great performing on her own, but exceptional with others.

Like many other sound artists, a. rawlings has a way with words. (Oh God that was terrible).
Her voice is clear, and crisp yet she adds something more to her compositions. When performing, you see movement. Not just the movement of her lips, but her whole body. She does not only make you hear the words, but see them as well.


John Cage

When being assigned to research John Cage, I knew it was going to be a learning experience. This linked proved just that.
While reading, I was intrigued by the audience’s reaction to listening to 4’33”. Cage himself said “People began whispering to one another, and some people began to walk out. They didn’t laugh — they were just irritated when they realized nothing was going to happen, and they haven’t forgotten it 30 years later: they’re still angry.”

4’33”s performance was considered ‘going too far’ for some people. But surely watching a man sit still in front of a piano for nearly 5 minutes isn’t that traumatic. Right?

Curious to see how the audience responded to this piece, I went onto Youtube to watch a live performance. I was expecting to see the audience’s facial reactions, but unfortunately this video only showed the ‘performer’ of the piece, so I proceeded to read the comments below.

I was baffled by all the hatred directed at this piece, but I read on, looking for any comment that would stick out to me. Besides the hate comments, I also read a lot of funny comments, such as “The best moment was at 2:08.” These comments lead me to believe that the audience just didn’t understand the reasoning behind this piece, which, in turn lead me to wonder why?

Why was the piece not explained to the audience before it occurred? There would still be sound music right? Why not just tell them and avoid all this frustrated confusion?

But then again, how would you explain this piece anyways? What would you say? John Cage studied sound. He visited an anechoic chamber at Harvard University in order to hear silence- but never did not accomplish that objective. He heard two sounds, his nervous system and his blood circulating.”Try as we may to make a silence, we cannot,” he wrote. And that’s what he wanted to show while playing 4’33”.

From talking to an Indian girl about the purpose of music, to studying Buddhism for eighteen months, John Cage constantly found questions and answers regarding sounds and silence. He was not the ‘creator’ of 4’33”, but merely a contender.

Enter Title Here… haha no just kidding

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I’d write more to explain this link, but I’m drawing a blank. Just bear with me while I get this blog under control, okay? XD

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