A Sound of Teaching—with Phil Timberlake— Broadcast on Montez Press Radio, Saturday, November 21st, 2020 11AM–12:00, Broadcast on WGXC, Tuesday December 1st, 2020, 2PM–3PM
A Sound of Teaching—with Phil Timberlake— Conversations with Phil Timberlake, actor and teacher of voice and speech for actors, leading us through exercises inspired by Roy Hart, Catherine Fitzmaurice, Arthur Lessac and Kristin Linklater and leading him through how he visually imagines a moment of his teaching.
Joined by Phil Timberlake
Phil Timberlake is an Associate Professor of Voice and Speech at DePaul University’s Theatre School. He is an Associate Teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework and holds a Diploma as a Roy Hart Voice Teacher. Phil has been a Fulbright Fellow to France, and is currently an ensemble member at Chicago’s Lifeline Theatre.
Mimicry of, Broadcast on Montez Press Radio, Saturday, September 26th, 2020 11AM–12:00, Broadcast on WGXC,Tuesday, October 6th, 2020, 2PM–3PM
Mimicry of—To get used to the quality of speaking to yourself, sympathizing space and drawing the perimeter of the room with breath, hiking with Lia, decide what your feet are in, Bella reading some notes from Roger Caillois on Mimicry and Legendary Psychasthenia, Arthur Russell.
Tongue and Cheek is a radio broadcast that leads listeners through vocal and movement exercises. Broadcasts are composed of warm-ups, conversations, and archival sound that focus on language and communication. We think about communication in a broad sense, leading listeners through exercises that reimagine the limits of the human body, social interdependence, and interspecies or non-species communication.
Voiced and led by Tim Simonds, Aaron Lehman and Emma McCormick-Goodhart Broadcast here, 8AM and 8PM everyday.
Tongue and Cheek was first developed and aired on Montez Press Radio beginning in the summer of 2018. Montez Press Radio is an experimental radio station and commissioning platform for unexpected works from artists and other creative voices. MPR continues to air new episodes of Tongue and Cheek during its monthly live broadcast at 46 Canal St in Chinatown, New York.
In 2019 Tongue and Cheek started an additional monthly broadcast on WGXC (90.7FM Acra, NY), Wave Farm’s community radio station. WGXC: Radio for Open Ears “is a full-power, non-commercial, listener-supported station in New York’s Upper Hudson Valley operating out of studios in Hudson and the Wave Farm Study Center in Acra.”
There are messages primarily serving to establish, to prolong, or to discontinue communication, to check whether the channel works… Dorothy Parker caught eloquent examples: “‘Well!’ the young man said. ‘Well!’ she said. ‘Well, here we are’ he said. ‘Here we are’ she said, ‘Aren’t we?’ ‘I should say we were’ he said, ‘Eeyop! Here we are.’ ‘Well!’ she said. ‘Well!’ he said, ‘well.’ ” —Roman Jakobson, “Linguistics and Poetics”
To reach an arm out of one’s mouth, peek through one’s ear, and speak out of one’s eye. Communication happens by any means possible. It is the different ways bodies extend themselves, as limbs that bridge things—reaching out, stretching and sometimes touching, with a light tap, “Marco!”
How we voice, how we gesture, how we manner, how we empathize. Exercises to find all ways of thinking of language, and to exercise them as their own paths of communication.
To empathize over radio. Invite to do the same—feel, mimic, echo. “Polo” The sound of leading, of following, of teaching speaking. And learning to make a body of a limb.
Transparency is something we associate with honesty, purity, or letting someone in on something. Yet at the same time as a piece of plexi or glass reaches for the ideal of being looked through—honest, pure, and uninterrupted by glare and muddling reflections—it hides itself and meekly shrinks away. A way of receding, shrinking back, hiding in an act of exposing something, making something pure, or making something evident. In that way the formal qualities of transparency are very human and social, a kind of emotional and interactive complex between someone and the world around them. Active and passive. Transparency as a kind of camouflage. —meek and assertive—crossing ones feet and wanting to be imagined and seen as shouting.
celery, water, traces of bleach, resin sealed cardboard box installed as a part of The Way You Look: Ashish Avikunthak and Tim Simonds, curated by Pete Moran at Burlington City Arts, VT.
as a part of Dump Camp, a conference and sequence of performances organized and curated by Bethany Ides and Ari Ferdman in a lecture-class room at Cooper Union.
Hung in the window bays in netted bags. The clean smell of their bleached flesh wafts in with the open windows over the course of the day-long conference / sequence of performances. Dripping dry, and becoming more opaque as the day goes on and in the case of the beat, slowly re-reddening as it re-dyed itself from the inside out. How does this flesh take care of itself, inform itself? Is correcting, over-done, self defeating, self effacing?
On the floor in the same space are a set of prints (To do before washing hands) taped to the floor in the way of the walking paths of the classroom. Each print is an image of a hand with reminders and to-do lists written on them. Some of the images show a wet hand, with handwriting smudged or running.
These are the first solips or bleached vegetables and fruits. I had at the same time been bleaching single stems of celery and hanging amidst prints that I was making from my spelling errors in my correspondences to my students. solips have always been a form of hyper-correction that runs parallel to the way I have thought of a teacher’s insecurity, the position of a teacher’s voice that is correcting itself.
What happens if the badly idealized forms of teacher and learner are folded over each other? What is the centripetal-ness, the self-awareness, self-reflection, self-correction, selfishness, passive, meek and undependable nature of a position seen and idealized centrifugally, hierarchically, as selfless, active, responsible? Though I had started then to work with teaching as a material, I only realize now, that the space of Bethany and Ari’s conference/performances was the first time that I entwined my work with an environment of teaching; I had taught in similar classrooms for a few years and still do.
In grade school when you learn how plants work, at the same time, how human work, how the blood circling around makes its way back up your legs, you place a piece of celery in a cup of water and food coloring. You watch the red, blue or maybe yellow march its way up the stem and to its leaves.
pineapple, mango, beet, apple, squash, papaya, kiwi, traces of bleach, plastic bins in House of Orange at Wilma Projects.
Two or more people have a conversation in a room and then leave it. They leave the room and leave the conversation. The conversation is left in the room. But it has no story. It hasn’t been left with a story. There is no “about.” It is a pattern. Or a patterning. Just the relations. A bunch of prepositions lingering there. Some negotiation. Some coordination. All the social words with which we describe music: harmony, dissonance, chord, discord, resolution, fugue, counterpoint. It is left there. But it is not residue. More like a puppet. It moves. And might be dressed up. A puppet that is a teacher. A puppet that is a teacher with only limbs. And someone else, some other people, might come in and use it; pick it up and dance with it.
Here are a set of maypoles. They are like the midsommarstång danced around in Sweden, like liberty poles and arbres de la liberté that rally a gathering for someone to speak out in a small village in 18th century France or North America, like the poles plaited in Waldorf schools as a part of elementary education, like the Maibäume birch tree tied to the corner of the houses of lovers in the Rhineland. They are model size. Smaller rituals. Some move. Some are obstructed. Some are knotted from the outset. And some are too fragile to stand on their own.
Once circle, All equally spaced around, numbered clockwise. The even numbers face out.
The odd numbers face in— they do not move, but act as gateposts.
The even numbers move.
Away from the center of the circle Turning right, And moving back towards the center of the circle passing between the next gate post.
Turning left, And moving back away from the center of the circle Passing between the next gate posts.
Turning right, And so on and so on…
One evening in the winter of 1801 as I walked in the park, I happened to meet Mr. C—who was engaged as first dance in the opera, a man very popular with the public. I told him, in passing, that I had seen him several times at an outdoor marionette theater that had been set up in the market square to entertain the common-folk with song and dances and short dramatic burlesques.
He assured me that I need not be surprised at his delight in the pantomime of these marionettes; and hinted that they could be very effective teachers of the dance. Since he did not seem to be indulging a mere whim about them, I sat down with him to discuss this strange theory in which marionettes seemed to become teachers. — Heinrich von Kleist, On the Marionette Theater, 1810 (translator unknown)
Diaries that track each vine and their transplanting. A tracking of the routine presence of watching them.
Bottles grown from seed, transplanted several times and trained to climb. Hanging in a shorter space than where they were grown, uprooted and roots uplifted.
What is spoken personally (embottled, bottled up) and what is shared openly.
A bottle’s open top is its horizon. The stopping access of the world. Gravity moves up rather than down. The terrain of a ghost trap. The view from the lobster. Building a ship in a bottle means building it underwater or at least already lost at sea. From a remove. It takes patience and care always at a remove. My nose always on the other side of glass. Patience, care, remove, fragility
Bottles are not as big as pots. Bottles entail routine. One day, one event opening or closing.
Being put in an effort to be preserved. Not just maintained in their growth but held to fit in an environment. How to freeze them or transplant them, wanting to hold onto them or to literally stop them, in the same way one stops a bottle, corks it. They share the form of a bottle. Vines work like liquid, moving up, filling up according to their container rather than fully determining their own strength by dint of their roots. Their roots are essentially along their trunk, a sort of inverted plant, where roots are high, and the horizon has been shifted to the top, like a perspective under water or from the perspective of a fly trapped in a bottle. Where they were grown.
Routine ghosts are the haunting of a habit (as in something that is supposed to be almost instinctual and subconscious, here coming forward), and our habitual encounter and looking over (or through) of the un-neat, untidy, the detritus of “punctual” activity, — in other words marginalized elements automatically dead. We make dead by caring and wanting to preserve things. Ghosts of the every day. Unnoticed things.
To go back to the first, in the vines is always a kind of ghost of a routine, watering, training, that has its repetition but no clear end, no “fruit.” The whole is defined by the absences as a result of care. What is not there, (the space that they were grown in, the soil and pots they grew from). Nature without nostalgia. Culpability of caring.
“bottled naturalism” —(Gabrielle Cody)
The calabash gourd (penguin is a varietal) is one of the first plants to be grown agriculturally not for it as food but as a tool. A bottle, a hollow, for drink, preserving, or music.
Group mimicking and drawing exercises. In 2017 Anne Marchis-Mouren and I worked with the community of L’Arche à Marseille to do a series of workshops. For one workshop we worked with a greenscreen and for the other, Atelier de Transparence et Cadavre-Exquis, we worked through a series of group mimicking and drawing exercises. In the final exercise, the group on one side of the plexiglass frame drew what they saw through the frame, and the individuals on the facing side followed with their marker what their partner was drawing. Special thanks to Triangle France, where I was in residence, for supporting the project, and Marine Ricard for documentation.
In 2018 I organized a similar exercise, Exquisite Corpse,with a folding frame for the NYC Chinatown store-front and community radio project, Food Radio. Thanks to Bella Janssens who organized and ran Food Radio with the architecture office Food NY and their outreach to the Chatham Square Library