An ongoing series of “portraits,” which evolved naturally out of sound painting. The original idea came as the result of a commission in 2007 from choreographer D.A. Hoskins (The Dietrich Group), who was creating a new solo for dancer and longtime collaborator, Danielle Baskerville. Asked to provide the score, Gilles Goyette decided to use Danielle’s voice as the main sound source, combined later with other sonic elements. With Glenn Gould’s “contrapuntal radio documentaries” serving as inspiration, the idea was to capture an unscripted monologue by an isolated subject, speaking spontaneously in a confined but cozy space during the “interview” process, a dimly-lit bathroom surrounded by drop cloth, insulating the room, emphasizing the sound, intensifying the feeling of deprivation and intensity of focus.
“The experiment was to capture an unscripted response to my ‘interview’ question, ‘Who are you?’ by placing the subject in the isolated confines of my bathroom, surrounded by heavy drop cloths and wearing headphones, all to intensify the feeling of deprivation. Danielle, no doubt feeling vulnerable in such a claustrophobic setting, while being recorded (for a whole hour!) in the full knowledge that she would one day be dancing to the sound of her own voice, was drawn into an interior dialogue, ranging in subject from childhood, reflections on art, the ocean and time, to Medieval Jesuits, savage girls, and how boring it is to talk about yourself, all while trying not to be too confessional. Post-interview, I set about manipulating, adding and subtracting, removing single words and statements from their original context, altering their order, subjecting them to shocks, distortions, appropriating their original intent and meaning. With Glenn Gould’s ‘contrapuntal radio documentaries’ in the back of my mind, I created a portrait of the sitter in her own words.” Gilles Goyette