November 1, 2012
Lisa Coons on “Mesh” and ICElab
From the composer
By Lisa R. Coons
I am a composer and sound artist with three primary objectives. First,
I aspire to evolve conceptually and aesthetically through constant
collaboration. By working closely with other artists, I want to push
beyond my own idiomatic language and feel creatively culpable at every
level of the process—I believe this results in an ever-growing
artistic vocabulary and more honest work. Second, I endeavor to treat
music as an embodied practice—always taking into account the physical
presence of the performer in creating sound. This ensures that the
music is a social practice and a shared art; a performance must be
seen for the music to be fully heard. Third, and perhaps most
important, I strive to ground each piece in emotional experience and
memory, rather than relying purely on an aesthetic departure point.
My fundamental goal is to compose music I know to be thoughtful and
sincere. This ICELab project embodies those objectives more than
anything that I have done in the past.
Mesh is collaborative; it is shaped, composed, choreographed, designed
and revised by everyone involved and would not have been the same
piece with different musicians, or different dancers. This work is
about the visceral self as much as it is about sound or concept. All
who are performing—whether musician or dancer—are an important
physical entity in space as well as an individual who makes sound.
Mesh is a study of vulnerability and connection. The piece puts a
spotlight on sensation, on the fundamental aspects of shared
experience made rich and complex through layers of different
perspectives. Musicians and dancers at times act as a single entity,
while at others are divergent, pushing against one another; throughout
they are integral and interdependent.