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“What might the wind sound like among those leaves?” (2020)

[a graphic score for undetermined performer / or a graphic performance for 9 people during an online meeting {zoom/jitsi/skype/…}]

This piece was made by Dejana for the occasion of the happening in Guerilla University+Rojava University+people from different places' 3rd meeting session, a collaborative and communal thinking project initiated by People Coming from NowHere/PhD in One Night collective and project.

When thinking about the conversations that continue to unfold on sessions between the Guerilla University and Rojava University, this strong sense of changing human-imposed borders, that influence land geographies wasn't leaving my mind. Land geographies and their sounds. They brought memory from my own childhood, and one geography lesson in particular where the teacher said to us "well… well, maybe … let's… we'll skip that side of our country for now… we don't really know… where the border is… or will be… so.. I don't really know what to teach you".
Although I've placed that in a quotation, that is a paraphrased, longer explanation. The teacher said simply "we will skip this lesson. We don't know where the border is". Perhaps my paraphrasing, filled with extra punctuation, is an attempt to demonstrate how what he said charged my memory with some general state of uncertainty, confusion, sadness and melancholy, guilt… Guilt for the audacity to feel this uncertainty, confusion, and anything alike, when I still had a place to call home, to go to school to in the time that someone just like me, but in "that side of the country" was ripped off from childhood. But, somehow, there was also some last feeling of hope(?). Hope that in whichever way the human-imposed borders might change forced by some's politics, the land geography will always belong to all of us, to all being—land geographies and maps of their sounds.

As a [classically trained] musician, I always see [composer's] score as a map to enter the distant or recent past. And bring it to life in the present. As a musician, violinist, and just a curious human interested and immersing myself in [contemporary] music, a score became more my map to the unknown, the future, the non-existing waiting to become. Unknown sounds that are the unknown beings, societies, and customs, sometimes yet to be developed.

This is the state from which the piece "what might the wind sound like among those leaves?" came from. The graphic score is derived from shapes found in images of Make Rojava Green Again (found on the blog defi-ecologique.com). Forms like the (current) shape of Rojava, elements of irrigation system - as a symbol of water and flow, saplings, leaves, land, stones, the landscape became symbols of sound and timbre to be used by the performer. The piece can be performed by merely imagining sound in one's head. But it can also be played (from imagined or experienced sounds) using any instrument and means available, by one or by multiple people.

In the current state of interactions in the world [2020], and being so strongly turned to physically distant yet virtually irrationally close gatherings, another "map" appeared - online meetings, and especially their grid view. A visual map in which geographical coordinates lost meaning and the land of Belgium could suddenly be neighboring with the land of Finland and the land of Rojava. Each window a world, as connections break and are reestablished, we continuously move and change our "neighbor". Yet another constantly shifting and changing map.
To perform the piece, without sound yet invoking sound, the graphic score was divided into nine parts. Each section was used by one of the 9 close collaborators from the People Coming from NowHere collective as their virtual background in the zoom meeting. If and when the "windows" of each of the participants move closer or next to each other in the zoom conference grid view the belonging to the score, or the entire score is revealed (in what order it can be). However, each part of the score on its own also contains enough information to be considered as an individual, stand-alone piece. The work was performed in this way during the 3rd session of the Guerilla University meeting, which took place on December 30th, 2020.


the performance, December 30th, 2020


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sources + links
⊶ Make Rojava Green Again (found on the blog defi-ecologique.com
People Coming from NowHere/PhD in One Night :: Guerilla University Sessions
Rojava University


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