The Oral History of Female Drummers: Getting Louder was performed at Mana Contemporary on September 25, 2016. This immersive sound installation consists of 10 female identifying drummers set up in different locations throughout the building, both hidden (stairwell, elevator, distant corridor) and visibly featured (cafe, outside on the grass, end of main hallways). This performance is designed to explore the undocumented history of female drummers. Drummers perform simultaneously throughout Mana out of sight and sound range of each other. The duration of the performances will begin short (4 minutes) and grow longer in duration and louder in volume throughout the day to reflect the growth of visibility and presence of female drummers.
This performance seeks to inspire and challenge the viewer through their engagement with the drummers. Women and girls are traditionally seen and not heard and in this performance they are both seen and heard. By placing the drummers in the meditative environment of our cultural museums the viewer is also confronted with the stand alone existence of a female in her traditional role as the subject of a art piece. When activated, the drummer becomes an aural experience that the viewer must reckon with that is new and unchartered terrain. Viewers are encouraged to observe this intimate expression undistracted and to participate in both the immediacy, skill and mystery of this exchange. The beats represent a lost conversation of a history previously told exclusively by word of mouth. The performers will play on painted drum heads and painted sticks by the artist Itta. Throughout the performance the drummers will be chipping away at their own histories and the histories of the generations that came before them.
Performers include: Kiran Gandhi, Chloe Saavedra, Sean Desiree, Aiko Masubuchi, LaTreice V Branson and Pippa Kelmenson.