Etiquette received its first read-through at the Sonic Lab in the Sonic Arts Research Center (SACR) at Queen’s University Belfast (QUB) on 29 April 2022 at 3pm.
Performers: Rebecca Hopkins, Erin McReynolds, Tara Mckibbin, and Ciara Wilson
Etiquette is a sonic art piece that includes eating-related gestures such as chewing and cutting food. The aim of the project is to direct people’s attention to the sounds we often neglect. Quotes about eating from philosophers including Plato, Heidegger, Pythagoras, Confucius, and Zhuang Zhou constitute the narrating part of the piece. There is a vocal quartet composition based on a poetry by Kahlil Gibran. The 4 performers narrated the quotes and sang according to the score. One them was at the chopping station where she created sound by chopping potatoes and smashing wasabi peanuts into a stone mortar. Sound was amplified and processed. All speaking and gestures are done in accordance with instructions in the score. The audience was be given packs of snack beef jerky, crisps, and wasabi beans. The eating sound made by the audience was also amplified and processed. Contact microphones were attached to the chopping board to capture the nuance of the sounds, which was then amplified and diffused through the ambisonics system at the Sonic Lab. As the piece progresses, the audience heard pre-recorded sounds that contradict what they see in the eating performance. Apart from the ‘eating sounds’, this sonic experience will also include other sounds made by the wooden dining wares.