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<em>Sonic Ritual (equivalent)</em>, a new sound performance by Tansy Spinks
3 April 2013, London, UK

Tansy Spinks: Sonic Ritual (equivalent)

A sound performance devised for Engaging Tactics: Revealing Secrets, as part of the 2013 British Sociology Association Annual Conference: Engaging Sociology.

When: 3 April 2013, performances at 11.30-12, 1.30-2.00, 4.00-4.30 

Where: Norfolk Room, on the fourth floor at the Grand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5DA.


According to Tansy Spinks,

Sonic Ritual (equivalent) will play with ideas about secret spaces, rituals and symbolism, using objects and the sounds they make, through microphones, live loops and loudspeakers.

The Norfolk Room, although part of the Grand Connaught Rooms building is a space reserved solely for private Masonic functions – except today. The room directly abuts the commanding art deco Freemasons Masonic Peace Hall and its imposing doors are firmly double locked and shuttered on the Mason’s side…

Since women cannot be present at a Masonic ceremony I can only guess at how such rituals might be performed, making do instead with glimpsed rituals filmed clandestinely by others and posted on Youtube. Similarly, although I can view the ceremonial objects and paraphernalia in the Masons’ Hall library and the shop whilst picking up on snatches of information given out during a brief tour of the lodge building, the rest is just hearsay and innuendo, distrust and suspicion, anecdotes about shadowy groups of men carrying strangely shaped briefcases, of secretive handshakes and private dinners. My version can only be a guessed at equivalent of what goes on behind these very, closed doors.

The sound performance will play with ideas about secret ritual, using objects and the sounds they make. I have had to make do with a series of equivalent objects acquired from attics, charity shops and on ebay. They are versions of the symbolic objects which might be used in ceremonies – a setsquare, ruler, mason’s trowel, metal ceremonial goblets, a candlestick, a bell, a skirrett, a gavel. Combined with small microphones the objects are given a voice through amplification. Metaphor and ritual are suggested as the sounds are gradually layered.