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Friday, October 26, 2018

LAUGHING AND CRYING WITH THE PSALMS

LAUGHING AND CRYING WITH THE PSALMS  2018 

INTENTION:  I grew up orthodox Roman Catholic, entered a convent for 2 years and had  15 years of  orthodox Catholic education. So Church-r-me. Living across from the Reformed Church, and still a practicing  Catholic, although a "reformed" one, I could not pass up the Holy Spirit prompt I internally heard one day when passing that Reformed Church on my way home which is 50 feet away, down the block.  The "prompt" was, "Say all the Psalms in this church."  I sat with that and pulled it out as a performance in Austin's Vortex Theatre where , for three days, I stood on a 14 foot lift and sang the psalms for 7 hours a day, disguised as Mother Teresa. 
When Suzanne Bennett, curator extraordinaire suggested I do something for her SHOUT  OUT SAUGERTIES, I focused on that Saugerties Church as site/a short duration of 3 hours as focus and the Psalms as the narrative. In that way, I get to do the original "idea" but in a less durational form.
1.Why ask 12 friends to choose "something" they want to sonically express as a laugh or cry?
2. Why ask them to come to the pulpit and act as if......a priest/pastor/bishop/deacon?
3. Why ask them to be blindfolded?
4. Why ask an 8 year old child to read the psalms which will be played the entire time?
5. Why ask a friend to be an angel and bless/direct  the experience?
6. Why am I dressing like a medic and checking everyone's heart before and after they perform?
  1. To maintain an interiority, each performer, for approximately 15 minutes will remember a joy and smile-laugh for the entire time. Or they might cry for a loss? Loss of a person? A country? A freedom? An indigenous people? A healthy body? Or none of the above.
  2. Coming forward to the holy of holies without having been ordained, without being a man-male, without words of "church" or sermon words is a somewhat transgressive gesture.  My need to question or ask, "Who belongs in the pulpit? Who does that?" is so strong that I am asking my friends to participate in this concept and help me unfold into a new  theological  freedom.
  3. Focusing-inside and not performing-outside is so important. Feeling and not trying to please or trying to attract attention to anything but inner freedom and inner intention will result in a transformative group/positive brainwave and healing dynamic. Also the juxtaposition of elements is ironically provocative ...the innocent child reading/the Angel flying around and blessing/ the faux medic checking the performers hearts/the non-ordained WOMEN and men freely sounding from the pulpit (I'm talking Roman Catholic here, not all Churches.) …. It becomes a collage of divine absurdity and we all know that absurdity cures depression-isolation-judgment and left brain surety.
  4. Why ask a child to read the Psalms? Unless you become as little children you cannot enter the kingdom of Heaven. Loosely translated that is: stay present/stay innocent sometimes/translate the soul as having the qualities of unstained, untraumatized innocence. That's something we experience when we hear  children's choirs or watch facebooks of cats and dogs carefully, respectfully and compassionately minding infants. For me, that is Heaven. Will some of the performers  cry because their "soul" feels the Heaven-sound of the young boys voice reading the Psalms? Will they smile and laugh because it is the first good news they have heard in months and it isn't CNN? The experience is interactive and improvisatory and most likely only the performer will know what elicited their sonic response.  Also, no pressure is made on the performer to even make a sound if the inspiration is not there to do so. And there are 2 other options: if they are listening to themselves, the child reading , the drone (scruti) playing, they will also have access to a small bell and a jar of rocks(rattle) and these can be used as sounding devices whenever they wish. Simply put: THERE ARE NO MISTAKES, THERE ARE NO WRONG MOVES, THERE IS ONLY PRESENCE. And yes, all black clothing and sunglasses and glam hair.(Wig if you wish and heavy lipstick). It takes the good will of friends to trust that this is something of value for them to experiment with and I thank each of them profusely.
  5. Angels are symbols of getting out of Dodge, or beings good at retreat. Angels are fabulous at  rising above it all, fabulous at billowy wonderfulness, of blessing, of guidance. A relative of mine has written an unreadable Aquinas-heavy dissertation on the ANGELS and I have always found solace in them as images and Deus ex Machina. Chickens are not second best but there is no way that I would stretch the definition or get the permission necessary to include them in this "performance" but they know that they are always welcome in my work.
  6. Having lived in an art  gallery in 1975 for one week with a fake stethoscope taped to my heart, with my dog Betty, doing a performance titled LISTENING TO MY HEART I feel comfortable resurrecting the heart theme. Then  I needed to listen because my heart was breaking. Only art could save me. And a month ago I was taped to a 24-7 heart monitor for unspecified possible "heart issues." Breaking? Age?  Of course what happens in my life appears in my art, so here it is, the stethoscope, but now I am the cardiologist and doctor and nurse and I take make believe readings of each of the 12 performers hearts before and after they spend 15 minutes cleaning their own hearts publicly in the pulpit. I will tell them before they go to the pulpit, "Your heart is fabulous, or your heart is kind or your heart is wise"  Whatever they wish. And when the angel leads them down from the pulpit, I will say after listening to their heart,  Your heart is LOVE.
    Linda Mary Montano 2018





 
 
REHEARSAL:  SATURDAY  5PM REFORMED CHURCH SAUGERTIES  ACROSS FROM  ORPHEUM THEATRE:  173 Main street, Saugerties.
Dear Performers:
  1. Psalms will be read on tape by Desmon Conrad-Ferm
  2. A drone sound will play
  3. So u will be listening and improvising with those sounds...lauging and crying  WHEN U WISH
  4. You will have option of ringing a small bell or shaking a rattle of stones in a bottle  FOR TIMES WHEN U DONT WANT TO LAUG OR CRY.
  5. Please find an intention you can use so you feel the time is beneficial to you
  6. Feel free to wear earpiece and listen to your own "prompt" , story, prerecorded words that will help you laugh or cry.
7.Blindfold optional and if not, wear sunglasses, dark glasses.  You need them for going up to the pulpit....so bring the day of the performance. 
See you Saturday,
Linda

Katie, you are on the schedule, Linda


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