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Exercise in Light ft. a circle of voices

Sessions x SPEL

State Gallery of Contemporary Art — SPEL, Nicosia

16 December 2023

As our panting breaths converge

our spirits slowly merge

and in that oneness

suddenly we know:

we are part of a beginning, 

not an end.

A meditation-performance led by a vocal ensemble formed through a programme of open community workshops at Sessions x SPEL. Built around a series of sonic meditations which the audience is invited both to witness and enter into, based on the work of composer Pauline Oliveros (1932-2016), and drawing influences from magical practices and magical activism, Exercise in Light explores the healing and radical potential of sound and shared sound-making, especially in times of collective despair—an experiment in common grief and rage; an attempt at joint solace; a communal spell for hope.

Concept and direction: Androula Kafa

A circle of voices: Eleni Anastassiou, Stella N. Christou, Androula Kafa, Panayiotis Mina, Nicola Mitropoulou, Loizos Olympios, Panayiotis Pavlides, Gervaise Alexis Savvias, Demetris Shammas 

Light design: Demetris Shammas

Graphics and garments: Nikos Stephou

Photography: Dimitris Loutsios

Commissioned and presented in the framework of Sessions x SPEL, a series of queer happenings at the State Gallery of Contemporary Art — SPEL, June–December 2023.

Sonic Offering

The project is further being developed in 2024 in the framework of "theYard" residency programme by the Center of Performing Arts MITOS in Limassol and the "rehearsal" residency programme in Nicosia, organised by performer-choreographer Arianna Economou. Weekly group meditations are being held with different groups of participants in both cities, while additional meditations take place on a regular or ad hoc basis with various other groups and communities, such as the Cantus Novus Femina vocal ensemble and the Running Fluent intercultural initiative (upcoming). The workshops operate through an open call and are free and open to all regardless of musical background. A public sharing of the cumulative results of these sessions, titled Sonic Offering, will be presented at the Old Vinegar Factory, Limassol, in May 2024, hosted by the Center of Performing Arts MITOS.

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