(Originally posted here, 29 sept 2012)
As Benjamin wrote we’ve been to Kallio-Kuninkala for a week of improvisation together with a group of other students from the Sibelius Academy.
The surface level of what’s happened is fairly easy to describe. Lots of improvisation and contact exercises, exploring ourselves, the others, the group. A process of opening up, accepting, meeting, searching. Lots of strange stuff going on. People screaming or standing silent, crawling on the floor or on each other, running around, standing still, moving s l o w l y, making strange sounds with their instruments and voices, going on and off stage and in and out of rooms, creating beautiful music and soundscapes and horrible music and sounds. Talking about what we do, feel, think, find, experience. Sauna and party and jam sessions.
But this doesn’t really say anything about what actually happened. I’ve experienced a week of incredibly strong meetings with strong people. Opened up to others and let others in, in ways that rarely (never?) happen in everyday life. Learned about myself, life, music, artistry, focus. We have been crying, laughing, smiling, seeing. The strong feeling of being part of a group that supports you, challenges you, meets you, includes you, love you.
I tried to describe it to a friend: love, improvisation, meetings, physical and mental exhaustion, energy, openness, happiness, time, warmth, eyes, humans, hands, bodies, moment, sounds, music, exploring, extreme, movement, contact, silence, focus, words, dissolving of time, power, non-words, sauna, food, walk, group, human, tears. But it probably doesn’t matter how many words I list. There will always be more to add.
Maybe another way to describe is a picture from the very end of the week: we finished with going round, looking everybody in the eyes and silently, without words, telling them what we had experienced with them, learned from them and learned about them. I ended up sitting on the floor, shaking with tears.
Another experience The frame: a one hour collective improvised performance using the whole building. Personal task, set by myself: to try to walk as slowly as possible, but still be constantly moving. Result: ca 50 meters (including a set of stairs). The tiredness after it is indescribable and had a very strong effect on my body for hours afterwards, somehow I can still feel it, two days later. I recommend everyone to try.
We’re back in Helsinki now. Trying to digest what we’ve been through. Trying to figure out how to be in the everyday life again. Grateful for the week that’s been.