The yellow story
Chapter 5: part 2: HARMONY
by Daria Lanz
noun (pl. harmonies)
1 the combination of simultaneously sounded musical notes to produce chords and chord progressions having a pleasing effect: four-part harmony in the barbershop style | the note played on the fourth beat anticipates the harmony of the following bar.
• the quality of forming a pleasing and consistent whole: delightful cities where old and new blend in harmony.
• an arrangement of the four Gospels, or of any parallel narratives, that presents a single continuous narrative text.
2 agreement or concord: man and machine in perfect harmony.
Harmony, to me, is when multiple things (sounds, people, movements, colours etc.) work together to create a unified whole. Music is the obvious example, where more than one note is heard at the same time. But harmony can also mean colour, depth, vibrancy…
In theory, I had a fantastic and exciting concept to finish this piece. Elise had sent me a king-sized white sheet which she’d drawn life-sized lines through body movement. I recognized the patterns immediately for what they were—Elise had pulled a Heather Hansen (watch the video, you’ll get what I mean).
I wanted to create a harmonic relationship between Elise’s movements in Calgary, and mine in London. This canvas (king-sized bed sheet) would act as the platform for both of us to harmoniously dance together, from opposite sides of the Earth. I would use coloured pastels to contrast her black charcoal lines. With my movements overlayed on hers, harmony would be achieved.
It was brilliant.
In reality, this piece was a nightmare. And the outcome is far from what I’d imagined. The problem came down to space: London is fucking overpopulated and our spaces we live in are so tiny we can barely breathe. We live in tiny little boxes. It’s been driving me mad lately actually, and this piece only exaggerated my frustration.
Remember the broom cupboard that Harry Potter lived in with his Aunt and Uncle? Yeah, that’s basically everyone in London. It’s suffocating and clusterphobic if I’m honest. My room is tiny, my kitchen is tiny, my bathroom is tiny, my living room is tiny—oh, and I share it with 2 other people too.
My frustration was mounting everyday I failed to figure out a way I could get the entire king-sized sheet down somewhere and dance my harmonic lines overtop Elise’s.
Eventually, I gave up. I realized that part of this dance between Calgary and London would have to incorporate the element of crammed spaces here. I needed to finish this piece and move on, or the project would stand on hold for too long.
I moved all the furniture I could to one side of the living room, and lay my king-sized sheet down. I could just about work on 1/4 of it. So I had to work in segments, drawing my bit and then rotating the sheet, 4 times, so eventually I had drawn over every quarter.
The result? It’s messy. It’s not very harmonious. It’s full of my frustration and exacerbation of these tiny fucking inhumane living spaces we survive in.
But, as James Victore says, ‘done is better than perfect.’ I just had to get this one out the door.
Onwards and upwards.
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