I am a wee weaver confined to my loom…
Taking as its central motif the contemporary computers’ predecessor, the Jacquard weaving loom – a 19th century mechanical machine programmed by means of punched cards, a synthesizer of complex patterns, an instrument that would shape both the industrial and the computational developments of modern times – Atlas of Tremors confronts live sung historical folk song with contemporary digital sound processing.
Presenting a selection of songs composed and sung firstly by handloom linen weavers and later by textile mill workers to contemporary audiences, Atlas of Tremors gives an insight into transformations of labor and transformations of local communities as a single traveling man’s trade transitions into the industrial age powered by steam and labor of women and children. As textile factories across Europe close, songs of the linen trade sound an echo of the labor of generations past.
The echo resonates in the tremors of the affective response of the performer, modulating the vocal performance in real-time and creating a variation of the work each time it is performed. As Atlas of Tremors travels to different locales, with each occurrence it maps an evolution of the material sung, reshaping it by the performer’s affective state, response of the audience and the environment of the live event, leading to an ongoing cartography of encounters.