murmurs – mumbles – whispers – song – an oracle
Sybil[aria] as in Sybilla meaning prophetess and aria – air – luft – sound – being transported by means of breath.
she: “with frenzied mouth utters things not to be laughed at, unadorned and unperfumed, yet reaching to a thousand years with her voice….”
she, one yet many:
prophetesses, fortune tellers, girls who chewed laurel leaves and other funny substances, spouting strange gibberish which was alleged to be the words of the Gods. There were said to be as many as 10 Sibyls, variously located and represented.
The Erythraean Sybil, which wrote on leaves and arranged them so that the initial letters of the leaves always formed a word. The word acrostic was first applied to her prophecies.
The Cumaean Sybil prophesied by “singing the fates” and writing on oak leaves. These would be arranged inside the entrance of her cave but, if the wind blew and scattered them, she would not help to reassemble the leaves to form the original prophecy again. She lived a thousand years. In exchange for her virginity to Apollo she took a handful of sand and asked to live for as many years as the grains of sand she held. Later, after she refused his love, he allowed her body to wither away. Her body grew smaller with age and eventually was kept in a jar (ampulla). Eventually only her voice was left (Metamorphoses 14)
Sybil[aria] – a performance – it can take many shapes. It was born out of the collaborative longing of angela rawlings and maja jantar to work with and from divinatory practices in their work. It can take on the form of a full blown city oracle working from and with the stories of the people – voicing their fortunes.
Or it can exist as an intimate one person performance – performed in stereo by two Sybil’s – both creating a separate acoustic environment in the ear of the auditor. Each Sybil equipped with a necklace containing various sound pouches, amulets of word, scraps of talk and other organics – enabling them to generate deep auditory experience.
It has been performed by Maja both in collaboration with Lazara Rosell Albear and Lydia Debeer. At the Venetian Ball of the Festival of Flanders Ghent 2011 and 2012 and at the Poëzienacht in the Concertgebouw Bruges 2012. At the Festival of Flanders Krtrijk in 2016 with Aphrodite Patoulidou, Marie Bogaert and Helene Bracke
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