KEENE, N.H., 10/26/2015 – What is the sound of two minds reading? The Redfern Arts Center explores this question with the presentation of TheQuiet Volume, a self-generated performance for two that examines the magic at the heart of the reading experience at Keene State College’s Mason Library from Tuesday, November 3 to Saturday, November 14.
The participatory play, created by British theatre artists Ant Hampton and Tim Etchells, is an audio installed work of “autoteatro” (audience performed theater) that examines the particular tension common to any library worldwide; a combination of silence and concentration within which different peoples’ experiences of reading unfold. Two participants sit side-by-side at library tables, don headphones to take cues from whispered instructions and words in several books that lay before them. The Quiet Volume takes what is considered a deeply personal and internal process and pushes it out into the surrounding environment so that one reader’s sphere collides with another’s. The piece reveals layers and relationships between reader and text, silence and sounds, words and imagination, private and public experiences. The Quiet Volume has been performed in many libraries, both small and grand, all over the world.
“In an age of Kindles, Nooks and iPads, re-experiencing real pages can be a fascinating and thrilling encounter,” said Redfern Director Shannon Mayers. “The Quiet Volume will change the way people think about and experience reading, books, sounds and libraries.”
The Quiet Volume gives one “…the feeling of heightened awareness in which every sound is magnified, every movement has increased significance and all words dance with possibility … there is a sense that we are all privately running amok in the libraries of our minds,” wrote Lyn Gardner in The Guardian.
“The whole thing made you think about the nature of your sensory experience while reading, the relationship between the voice in your head and the words on the page,” said Jessica Harris, an audience member who performed the piece in New York City.
Ant Hampton is a performance maker and director, whose work spans theatre, installation, intervention and writing-based projects, many of which focus on instructions given to unrehearsed performers, both on stage and in public settings. He has worked as coach/mentor for artist programs such as MAKE (Ireland), A-PASS, Sound Image Culture (Beligum) and, most recently in 2013, Dasarts (Netherlands). He has created and led workshops worldwide and currently is in development of an automatic workshop.
Tim Etchells is an artist and a writer based in the UK. He has worked in a wide variety of contexts, notably as leader of the world-renowned performance group Forced Entertainment and in collaboration with a range of visual artists, choreographers, and photographers. His work spans performance, video, photography, text projects, installation and fiction. He is currently Professor of Performance and Writing at Lancaster University.
The Quiet Volume performances are free, but reservations are required by reserving a performance time on EventBrite, which you can link to on the Redfern’s website, (keene.edu/arts/redfern) click on The Quiet Volume event. All hour-long performances (no intermission) take place at KSC’s Mason Library, in the Main Reading by the periodicals. Performances are: Tuesday, November 3 at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday, November 5 at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Friday, November 6 at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.; Saturday, November 7 at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.; Tuesday, November 10 at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Thursday, November 12 at 4 p.m., 5:30 p.m. and 7 p.m.; Friday, November 13 at 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.; and Saturday, November 14 at 1 p.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
Make your reservations promptly because seating is limited. In addition to public performance times, several classes will participate together in The Quiet Volume including two Keene State English classes, the Cheshire Academy of Lifelong Learning Redfern Arts Encounters class, and two Keene High School classes.
During The Quiet Volume performance, a photography exhibit called Fifteen Things That Happened in the Mason Library (Between October 22nd and October 26th, 2015) will be on display in the library during the month of November. The exhibit is the end result of KSC Art Professor Jonathan Gitelson’s Photo I course assignment that each student take a photograph of a performative act in the library.
About Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College
The Arts Center is named in honor of Dr. Leo F. Redfern, Keene State College President from 1969 to 1979 for his vision, commitment, and eloquence on behalf of the arts that made funding and construction of the facility a reality. In 1981, KSC inaugurated this new performing arts center, with the goal of providing unforgettable artistic encounters for the campus and community. Now in its 34th year, the Redfern Arts Center presents and fosters dynamic, multifaceted arts experiences through performances, residencies, and related programs that deepen the connection between the arts and audiences, both from the campus and the greater Monadnock region.