Stutter Live at The Music Gallery

 

THURSDAY MAY 21 2009 @ THE MUSIC GALLERY, TORONTO

BE THERE TO EXPERIENCE IT LIVE!

FEATURING THE POETRY OF JORDAN SCOTT &

THE SOUNDS OF THE ELEMENT CHOIR.

STUTTER: THE PERFORMANCE

Jordan Scott is a poet who stutters. The combination of his dis-fluency and the jagged alliterations of his poetry evoke a level of communication that is beyond words. Jordan will read his poetry into a microphone, which will feed the signal through an oscilloscope, a device that uses a cathode-ray tube to depict periodic changes in an electric quantity, in this case sound, and displays them on screen. The oscilloscope’s translated waveforms will then projected onto multiple screens, placed throughout the performance space, which will in turn be interpreted by improv musicians.

As the musicians and singers perform, Jordan is reading his poetry, the jarred speech and patter of the oscilloscope waves are mirrored and mimicked, the musicians play arhythmically and in discordance, but there are moments when the sounds are harmonic. Music is therapy for one who stutters, singing along with a chorus or humming words, all promote fluency. By paring music with the stutter, a different level of communication erupts, one that is all at once harmonious, disquieting, and laden with pure noise.

His voice is fed through a microphone to the oscillosope machine which is placed in the Music gallery church hall. This is in turn projected onto the multiple screens. By isolating his stuttered voice, it becomes removed from the body, allowing the music authority over pace and rhythm. Jordan embodies this struggle on a daily basis. As he stutters, his speech is like the jagged line from the projection of the oscilloscope. The wiring of his brain is not letting him speak the words that are already formulated in his mind.

The musicians interpret the jagged lines as well as the cues from the conductor. The chaos of the sounds is symbolic of the stuttered speech of the poet, while the moments, which are in harmony are reflective of Jordan’s ability to overcome the stuttered speech and speak fluently. The jarring music representing stuttered speech and the harmonic music representing the fluency with which he can speak.

FILM

Based on Jordan Scott’s poetry we created a short film supported by the Bravo! FACT foundation in which musicians (THE WOODCHOPPERS GUILD) interpreted his words by observing the projections of the oscillations created by his voice. We also fictionalized scenes from Jordan’s childhood and included them in the film.

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