Inside the Music and Poetry for ‘2 One Another’

19 September 2017

The score in 2 One Another is a journey in four movements, exploring the different emotive qualities that can surface when we relate to one another. It brings together a range of existing music with original composition by Nick Wales and the poetic phrases by Samuel Webster.

When selecting the tracks of already existing music, Rafael was looking for a variety of styles of music that would give him different textures, energies, emotions and atmospheres to play with. He wanted to find contrasts between the tracks to create unexpected tension yet the tracks also had to gel with each other and make sense. The result is a score that encompasses varied musical styles and composers, from new classical music to Renaissance and Baroque landscapes, rich soundscapes and driving electronica. The recordings of Samuel’s poetic phrases were electronically processed then incorporated into the score by treating each as a ‘gesture’ in response to the movement.

The third movement is entirely composed by Nick Wales and is a musical climax exploring the idea of being pushed over the edge. There is an emotional duality of ecstatic highs and dark desperation mixing new classical string textures, Samuel’s poetry and driving electronics and percussion.

The phrases selected for this section all reference body parts and have a feeling of desperation and aggression.

When selecting phrases to use in the soundscape of 2 One Another Samuel cut any phrases which directed the audience too much. The poetry is meant to trigger something deep and that had to come through subtlety, in the hopes that the phrases will encourage audiences to connect with the work by remembering something they’ve felt before.

One of the more ‘physical’ phrases used in 2 One Another is: I pushed my chest against the carpet like I was skydiving. My arms reached for pockets of air we had forgotten were there.

The language used is quite casual, which gives it subtlety. Its subject matter is also quite obvious – it refers to seeing a dancer lying face down on the floor, then lifting his arms and feet up in the shape of a falling body. The last line in this poem takes a physical moment and extends it into the emotional – the ‘pockets of air’ are symbolic of life, freedom, lightness and so forth, and the idea of having ‘forgotten’ introduces an idea of imperfection.

Here are some other examples of phrases created by the company dancers:

— These are open palms. There’s nothing here to give. Only space with which to take.

— You held out your hand, so I ran for it. But it was gone.

— So much relies on the direction of our ngertips.

— Could we support the world together? If I place my hand here, and you put yours over there, maybe there’s enough strength between us to make sure it never falls down

— This whole world is me. Even in silence I can show you where it ends and where it begins.

— It was only in the last inches of my movements that I began to feel the humanity draining away.

— Come close, I need to tell you something. Just one thing.

Click here to watch a preview and listen to the music of 2 One Another.


2 One Another, Only in Sydney
5 – 14 October

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