Xoir with Colin Self

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CAMP is a residential arts facility in the French Pyrenees. It's a place where great art is made, new movements are formed, new ideas are explored and groundbreaking people are nurtured. CAMP is located in Aulus les Bains, the last village before the France/Spain Pyrenean frontier chain. The location is spectacular - we are nestled at 750m above sea level, surrounded by snowcapped peaks over 3000m high, ancient forests and cascading waterfalls. There are eagles, lammergeiers, vultures, ibex and bears. Walk out of the residency, and within ten minutes you are completely alone in one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in Europe. Aulus les Bains is also a spa village - there are hot water springs, and a thermal spa in the village to take advantage of the healing and relaxing properties of the water.
    
Workshop dates:
17/08/2022 - 22/08/2022
    
XOIR is a non-utilitarian vocal workshop focused on alternative modalities of group singing, led by artist, composer, performer and choreographer Colin Self. Rooted in somatic research and experimentation, the goal of XOIR is to foster a generative environment for individuals to connect with voice and vocality on an individual and collective level. XOIR is open to anyone interested in exploring their voice as a tool for learning or re-posturing a new relationship to singing and listening. Prior participation in choral or vocal practices is not required, but any prior experience with listening and engaging experimentally in a musical or studio practice is encouraged.

Day 1: Anne Carson and The Gender of Sound

Starting with Ann Carson’s essay "The Gender of Sound" from her seminal book Glass, Irony, and God, this session is focused on developing an entry point for participating in XOIR through a politics of listening. Carson’s essay outlines how systems of domination and power translate to how we hear and categorize all voices, including our own. The use, identification, and permission of vocality has been shaped over time by these forces and demands a re-examination of how we relate to our own voice and the surrounding sounds.

Day 2: Dr. Bessel Van Der Volk's The Body Keeps The Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma

For the second section of this program, I would like to connect an awareness of how dominant modalities of measured hearing (or a body politic of shame and guilt, especially amongst minorities) relates to a kinesthetic awareness of the central nervous system. The Vagus Nerve (or 10th cranial nerve) is the only parasympathetic nervous system that runs from the brain through the throat, down through the stomach and vital organs, and is greatly regulated by breath and voice. Primarily responsible for controlling the adrenal system, the Vagus Nerve and its functions point to an interdependent bodily relation to processing trauma.

Day 3: Jon Lindblom, Mark Fisher, and Ursula K Le Guin on Critical Imagination 

For the third section of this program, I wanted to tie these two previous points of interest toward the writing of Jon Lindblom, who curiously extends the unfinished research of his late instructor, Mark Fisher, toward an investigation of analog practices in times of digital sovereignty. Investigating what Fisher called a "responsibilitization" of creative practices; Lindblom’s writing outlines the social effects of professionalization in opposition to collectivity and experimentation. 

Day 4: Hannah Hurtzig's Blackmarkets & A Pedagogy of Amateurism 

For the fourth and final part of this session, I want to invite all the participants of XOIR to collectively build a curriculum of their own in response to the three points of inspiration aforementioned. Either in response to the various texts presented over the course of the first three days, or anything of interest in relation to / in distance from what we explored in days 1-3, this is an intentionally indeterminate part of the program.

Day 5: Dialogue & Public Presentation

For this final day, we will meet to begin a XOIR session with our usual initiatory practice, then engage in a group dialogue about events of the last several days. One-on-one conversations with storytelling in relation to each individual experience would finish with a conversation in-the-round with all participants. Whereas the primary function of XOIR is meant to exist without an audience, participants will be given the option to present the curriculum created in Day 4 to a public, or outdoors in a sonically resonant space. 

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