Skies of the Heart – video documentation
Wooden scaffolding, incandescent and black lights, wooden limbs, neon paint, 5 custom-made lamps (copper and tin), 5 channel sound.
Dimensions: Variable (5 towers, highest tower 8 m.; 5 lamps, largest lamp 2 m. long)
Sound composition: 19:34
Skies of the Heart, 2012 from hadley+maxwell on Vimeo.
Exhibition venue: Higher Atlas,
Théātre Royale, Marrakech Biennale,
curated by Carson Chan & Nadim Samman, Marrakech
Songs and poems (as excerpted in the documentation video):
- Voices: Etel Adnan, Fatima Belkouch, Sandra Hrabluik, Rime Mrini, Peaches
- Production assistance: Samya Abid, Marie Egger, Abdelouahid Amzil, Salima Hadimi, Lisa Robertson
- Construction assistance: Abdeljalil Akhchane, Hicham Gounan
- Wa'adi / My Love; (1976) in classical Arabic, sung by Rime Mrini (Moroccan). A popular song that will be familiar to local Moroccans, made famous by the Diva Megastar, Samira Said. The lyrics describe a woman's suffering because they took her love away from her. She asks her mother to put her out of her misery because now everybody knows her story, and despite her patience she can see no solution to end her suffering.
- I Awake; in English, sung by Peaches (Canadian, based in Berlin), written by Kate MacDonald (originally for Soundgarden, 1989). The lyrics for this song were originally a note written to Soundgarden's bassist. This was one of the first songs we wanted to interpret in the context of our research into medieval lyric poetry, as we imagine the address to be similar to religious poetry: I continue to love you despite the fact that you do things I can't possibly understand.
- Tawnza / The Fringe, in Amazigh (Berber), sung by Fatima Belkouch (Moroccan). Abdelouahid told us this traditional song reminded him of playing in the fields as a child and listening to the women singing while they worked. The 'Tawnza," or fringe of a woman's hair, is compared in the lyrics to "flowers next to a flowing river". The singer describes herself in detail as she appears in the mirror while she makes herself up to go see her lover (a poignant parallel to Beautiful Fatma).
- The Arab Apocalypse / l'Apocalypse Arabe; (1989 / 1980 / 1990), Chapter XVIII, written and spoken by Etel Adnan (born in Lebanon, based in Paris), read in English, French and Arabic . In this love poem to the sun, the poet describes the sun's power as both beautiful and destructive, asking how it can continue to witness the brutality of human violence without interfering. This poem continually comes from the spherical lamp in the separate corridor which is cut through with graphic signs from in the original poem. These pictograms resemble Berber symbols one sees on carpets or on local Henné designs.
- Beautiful Fatma / Lghzal Fatma; by the poet Benali Ould Arzim (18th c.), sung by Rime Mrini, (Moroccan). A Malhun, or "melodic poem," which is a form of Moroccan music that borrows its modes from Andalusian music and comes from the traditionally masculine working-class milieu of craftsmen's guilds. The lyrics of this love song include detailed description of Fatma’s beautiful body. The singer is secretly deeply in love with Fatma, describing the suffering she experiences and her total servitude to Fatma's beauty. This poem is traditionally performed for ceremonies, celebrations, and other "spectacles profanes".
- A Chantar; in Occitan (Provençale vernacular), c. 1170, to be sung by Sandra Hrabluik. The only medieval Trobairitz song known to be written by a woman for which we have both the lyrics and the musical notation, the lyrics for this commence "I must sing of that which I would rather not" and are addressed to the singer's beloved who, despite betraying her, still enraptures her. The singer also defends her own beauty and good qualities, claiming that she could not possibly be the reason for her lover's betrayal.
- l’Apolcalypse Arabe, Etel Adnan, encore: “Rire le soleil rit”