Felicia Atkinson, First House of Echo, 2017-2018
A series of listening sessions
Félicia Atkinson offered an immersive sensorial experience founded on listening, and created the conditions for developing a special kind of attention as well as an affective point of contact with other women artists. During a seven-month residency at La Galerie, she organized a series of deep listening sessions inspired by the work of American composer and musician Pauline Oliveros. Lasting two hours, these sessions established the preconditions for a certain type of listening enabling the audience “to enter into the music or let it enter into them”, as Atkinson put it. Whether directionless, intense, attentive or furtive, this listening fed a kind of memory from one session to another, perhaps inducing a community of experience. During the sessions, Atkinson presented her own music as well as that of guest musicians and women composers ranging from Hildegard of Bingen, the 12th-century Benedictine mystic, musician, linguist and physician, to Delia Derbyshire, the 20th-century composer of electronic and concrete music. She guided the listening process with her own voice, using it to establish new sensory channels for the transmission, interlinking and intermingling of these women’s practices, and branching off down paths that were not those of a linear history of music. Throughout her residency, she created situations for hospitality, offering improvised moments of sharing, and sensory experiences outside chronological time.