Christopher DeLaurenti – “Listening is a giving of mortality.”
Is this a white guy telling Black peoples’ stories? Sound artist DeLaurenti says this question formed the backdrop of composing his most recent protest symphony, Fit the Description: Ferguson 9-13, August 2014, despite his project being a consolidation of many vantages. The stories, a year later, are still readily accessed on Facebook and on Twitter, uploaded via Vine and Periscope. With these technologies, the world was watching the events unfold, blanketing a virtual space more than any one individual inhabiting a group.
No doubt race matters. But the events form another backdrop of communal and individual experiences for the artist, contributor and listener. As writer Toni Morrison suggested after 9/11, “Speaking to the broken and dead is too difficult for a mouth full of blood.”
For more detail, visit Earlid: Listening is a sacrifice.
This audio melding listens to DeLaurenti’s process for composing Fit the Description. It infuses Susan Sontag’s notions of memory and complicity regarding our watching (and listening to) the pain of others. It was produced by Joan Schuman in 2015 for Earlid.