Oliver Bray (Leeds, UK): Ursonate Post-truth

  • 22 Dec 2020 6pm UTC
  • dur 40min

This performance comprises a re-performance of Kurt Schwitters’ seminal piece of sound poetry, Ursonate. Schwitter’s Die Ursonate or “sonate in urlauten” means “primordial sonata” or “sonata in primordial sounds”, and plays with assumed notions of language, sound and speech. This version of the Ursonate interweaves quotations of our political leaders through these primordial sounds. The work alters depending of the political temper of the times and this version includes the the speeches/texts of Donald Trump and Boris Johnson. These political texts and the poetry of Schwitters combine as layers of vocal delivery to create an intertextual monologue, which addresses the potential of the perlocutionary speech act when placed beside the impenetrable beauty of the Ursonate. The performance demonstrates the delivery of speechmaking in a post-truth era. By putting the absurd and noisy primordial Ursonate next to the confident, earnest and vacuous delivery of our political speakers, the audience may hear the emergence of a new kind of valuable meaning. The work is engaging, beautiful and funny.

BIO: Oliver is the Director of Arts in the Leeds School of Arts and is well-respected for producing performance and live art work which seeks to always be genuinely innovative and edgy, while remaining unapologetically inclusive and watchable. His work has toured widely to various national and international festivals including; the Sibiu International Theatre festival in Romania, the In Between Time festival in Bristol and the National Review of Live Art in Glasgow.