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> > > Review: Unlimited: Simon Allen's 'Resonance At The Still Point Of Change'

6 September 2012

photo of a green plastic sandal in a tree

Resonance at the Still Point of Change

Richard Downes tries to stave off his emotional responses to a situation created by Simon Allen and his team through a song cycle backed with musical and natural sounds, electronic processes and multi-screen images. Part of the Unlimited Festival 'Resonance At The Still Point Of Change' was performed in the Queen Elizabeth Hall on 4 September

Time stretches, retracts, like a rubber band; taut, floppy, points between. Definitions lie between the myths we know and create for and of ourselves. Dictionary is more important than thesaurus here. Change is never still, rather constant in being forever the same. Words narrate, give form to song.

Image, moving, Essex mudflats. A pill box for defence. Found sculptures broken down, may be a bridge stay from the past marking the graves of folk who put them there.

Breakfast
Sustained, supported, the edifice is held together by modern music. Arriving at the Southbank Centre my mind was saying Silence at the Point of Distortion. that sounded interesting but was incorrect. Stillness, resonance. Quiet times spent searching for meaning. Mis-asssociation sometimes works for me. Synaesthesia appeared bi-annually. My maps snake into and through disconnected wires. Barriers to communication impaired.

Lunch
Aesop pulls rabbit out of hat and calls it hair. Diana.... gorgeous Goddess of Special School predicts one day we at the Albion will win the world club championship. A turtle soup of Utherian leg end in a Tintagel tea break, rising from the gloop; ghosts and ancient giants reborn defending skeletons on the Newbury bypass. Remember the battle of Twyford Down.

Supper
We've missed our tea that I call dinner. Days have passed in under eating. Time flew past with Simon Allen, and his merry men and women, to spew us out onto the banks of the Thames. Romance by river light. Speaking, listening, taking on the spectral presence of the night and all those dark things listed in the Nocturnall. "I've never seen anything like", that was one comment. "Very strange and perplexing."

What to do with strangeness. Pick it up and put it in a box. I sought out paralympic themes. It's where my head was today and has been for a while. Fit. Blind. These words are heard but have no durability. There is another para. I'm sure of it. The para-psychic? I have been picking up messages in the ether. They have been about respect.

Here we are in the scientific age, bouncing ideas around grounded in cynicism, scepticism. We have thrown out the gods broken down myths. Made them resonate through academic walls, closed down on their meanings, subjugated their messages. And this is called enlightenment. I remain atheistic (pink therefore spam) but have room for the faithful believers that surround me. I have no need to destroy their religion. Let them and their stories breathe. Reach out, unite. Find a common ground.

I'd go see and listen to this again. See what resonated within me next time. Listen out to catch another taste of essence. New locations and ongoing change are promised. What would happen to 'Resonance at the Still Point of Change' if it was to be put on within a forest. Would it catch fire?

Catch it were you can. Run with it. Be inspired. Address what you took away with you from the Cultural Olympiad. Did you know it was there? Were you aware that the Unlimited was happening and that freedom and independence could be found within the like of Simon Allen. Inspiration, emotion, bravery, tolerance of the weird and the wonderful can be found in these places too!

All repast is eaten. Goodnight love. Don't you be a secret lemonade drinker!

You can find out more about Simon Allen's work on his website at www.simonallen.co.uk

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