Muted Situation #5: Muted Chorus
2016, instruction score, video, 9’7”
Stage a performance of the entirety of a choral composition without projecting the musical notes. This must be done without a diminution of the energy that is normally exerted in the performance of the composition in question. Ensemble-ship, phrasing, engagement of the bodies and all other factors pertaining to the performative intent of the work must be preserved as far as possible, but the sung musical notes are not to be heard. Suppress the consciously sound-producing constituent of the performance. As a result, other sounds will be revealed, including but not limited to inhaling of the singers, the sound that their bodies produce, and the rattling of the music scores.
Born 1979 in Hong Kong; lives and works in Hong Kong
Samson Young’s compositions, drawings, installations, radio broadcasts, and performances touch upon topics such as military conflict, identity, migration, and political frontiers past and present. Sound and its cultural politics are at the heart of a practice that interlays multiple narratives and references, and Young develops many of his projects through extensive research. The relationship between violence and sound is a recurrent line of investigation in Youngs works. For his solo exhibition in the Hong Kong Pavilion at the 2017 Venice Biennale, Young took on the “charity singles” made by super groups of recording artists that were especially popular in the 1980s. Critical of the subtexts behind these singles — among them, the complicity of such gestures of “charity” with neoliberal policies and cultural imperialism — Young created drawings, objects, videos and site-specific installations by appropriating well-known songs from the roster of hits. Young obtained a doctorate in music composition from Princeton University in 2013 while becoming involved in contemporary art. He continues to compose classical music.