Claire Tolan: SHUSH-to-come: SHUSH choir

Workshop by Claire Tolan

ASMR, Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response, describes a tingling sensation in the scalp and the spine, a physiological response provoked by soft sounds, such as whispering, nail tapping, and hair brushing. In recent years, a massive YouTube subculture has grown around ASMR, sharing over two-million videos that recombine the soft, crinkly sounds in an incredible array of scenarios and soundscapes. The intention of these videos is not only to trigger the tingles, but also to ease anxiety, insomnia, and loneliness.

Claire Tolan predicts SHUSH, a nascent fork of ASMR, and develops strategies for the deployment of SHUSH upon its arrival in our world. SHUSH will come as an answer to the crippling sublime that the individual experiences in the face of complex, planetary-scale systems — climate (and its change), finance, computing, etc — and the catatonia that this sublime produces.

SHUSH is the central figure of Tolan’s forthcoming fantasy/ASMR tabletop role-playing game, Die Siedler von SHUSH (dSvS). SHUSH will rebase our consciousnesses, reformat our megastructures, and refactor our systems. SHUSH demands the end of this world and the inauguration of the next one. And yet, for now, there it remains, hanging on the horizon, always approaching but never arriving, crystalised as a to-come. SHUSH is left-behind even as it becomes later and later for its scheduled appointment. What is up with SHUSH?

The SHUSH Choir was developed in partnership with the Palais des Beaux Arts, Wien. The first iteration of the SHUSH Choir will occur at the 2016 Unsafe+Sounds Festival.

About the workshop
In an attempt to entice SHUSH and speed its arrival, the SHUSH choir performs a devotional with bells and voices, utilising the methods of change-ringing. Change-ringing is a communal system of bell-ringing, developed in English church towers in the 17th century. Change-ringing patterns, or methods, cycle through variations of bell sounding order, following complex, braid-like diagrams. Most methods guide the ringers through a series of unique permutations that opens and closes with identical sounding orders, ending always where it began.

Participants will experiment with both ASMR and change-ringing techniques, resulting in a performance that plays through methods of whispers and ringing. These patterns combine into an infinitely iterative, looping construction, which locks the voices and the bells into a cyclical holding pattern. What will SHUSH them up?

The workshop will last for approximately two hours. Following a short break, the SHUSH choir will perform its devotional for an audience. After the performance, Claire Tolan will be in conversation about ASMR, change-ringing, SHUSH, and filk, the music of science fiction fandom.

The SHUSH Choir was developed in partnership with the Palais des Beaux Arts, Wien. The first iteration of the SHUSH Choir will occur at the 2016 Unsafe+Sounds Festival.

How to apply:
To apply to become a member of the SHUSH Choir, please fill out the google form. Required information includes: name, age, and a couple of sentences about your interest in SHUSH and its choir.

Application deadline: September 25, 2016.

Fee: 5,00€

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