Your performance has a curious title, would you like to reveal your thoughts behind? And maybe also share with us, who Fabou is?
The title has two parts and leaves room for interpretation which is what the performance might also do. The title refers to the way the performance was built, and reflects my art practice around it. “Poet in my” is a reference to an old solo demo that this performance is loosely based on. The words are from Fleetwood Mac’s song Sara, where Stevie Nicks sings: “You’re the poet in my heart”. Well, I wanted to place the poet in different places, undefined places, some lost dreams… in my body and in the space I am working in. The poet also refers to Fabou.
I have many thoughts about who and what Fabou is. However, one idea is that Fabou is an imaginary friend or an accompaniment that takes different forms – has a fluid identity. It lurks behind the curtains. Wants to be heard but also doesn’t want to be chained by strict definitions. Fabou is the one that has been guiding the performance. Fabou is what comes into existence through the piece. It might not be the same for the spectator as it is for me.
I have thought of Fabou as a friend, a lover, a sabotage, a distraction, a glitch, a reminder, a message, a dream, a nightmare, an awakening. Also something born out of the betweenness of lovers: the possible tragedy, the beauty, the desire, the loss. Fabou is a medium for all this, and also the inspiration behind creating atmospheres with sound, movement and text that the performance is about.
Fabou is something or someone that is born out of loss and grief, of letting go. But also, Fabou is a force of nature, a wild wind in the room, a desiring energy, a merging. So I guess Fabou is born from the basics of life haha: desire, death, loss, imagination.
The whole practice was concentrated on figuring out what Fabou could be and how this question could birth a performance. “My life as” refers to empathizing, to metamorphosis, to being connected, to merging, playing with the boundaries, to the fluidity in being – internalizing Fabou and their message in oneself. To put it simply, Fabou is a logic of its own through which to think and create.
The art practice around the performance was about giving voice to something that I imagined to possess me or possess something else in the space. Perhaps possessing the sound or the fabrics. Something acute and craving for attention. The acuteness refers also to the ecological theme, all the destruction that awaits around the corner, the loss that is already here and that pierces through everything in life.
We see on stage a performance that plays with the boundaries between a gig and dance piece, how did you develop and work on this piece?
Poet in my – my life as Fabou is a performance fueled by emotions. Developing it has been a lot about exciting oneself into feeling, imagining, and then reorganizing (in) the space according to this – all this is channeled through the sound, movement, language and fabrics.
The performance is based on my art practice where dance, music, writing, choreography and performing all inspire each other in the creation process. In this performance I worked with fabrics as well. I was interested in diving into different kinds of atmospheres with the sound, the fabrics, the corporeality – all through a play of imagination, through this practice of “Fabou”. Some days I would just concentrate on my keyboard, some days I would go to the studio with all the elements in the space. As I stated previously, the idea was to follow what Fabou could be and what it wanted to say through the different mediums.
I was interested in exploring how personally intimate themes and more universal themes could intertwine; for example ecological grief has come up in the process and in the worlds created through sound, dance and choreography. Fabou was thematically also about this: how it all merges together in life, the micro personal and the macro universal themes that touch everyone in different ways. How emotions get mixed up and tangled. I wanted this practice of imagining, this practice of emotions, to form its own logic for the performance.
I have been working with fabrics before and wanted them to be a part of this piece and therefore I worked closely with scenographer Kaisa Rajahalme. The fabrics and the whole spatial design has been a big part of my practice and the final outcome. I composed the music for the performance and then with Karin Mäkiranta in sound design we especially focused on the spatial aspects of the sound, the entirety of it, the transitions. Finally the whole working group has affected the piece with Irene Lehtonen in light design and Tuuli Vahtola as dramaturgical assistance. The final form of the performance took shape from our cooperation in Kutomo, Turku (Ehkä-production). Now for the Mad House/Moving in November performance, we got Julia Jäntti to do the light design for this black box version.
Could you tell about your connection with, and interest in poetry in connection with your work in general?
I mostly write in my diary, do freewriting or make lyrics. I don’t usually write poetry specifically. I am personally more interested in creating lyrics: how the quality of the voice, the emotion, the atmosphere and the melodies play a big part in how the language and meaning are formed.
What interests me in poetry though is the idea of creating atmospheres, intensities and aesthetics with rhythm and gaps. And unlike in lyrics, in poems this is perhaps more in relation to silence(s), or stillness, or emptiness even? Or how about the idea of poetry as defining what that silence and betweenness is, perhaps not emptiness at all but very much a fullness.
Also some kind of a ritualistic aspect to poetry interests me, how poems have historically been used for rituals and magic spells. Then looking at modern poetry through that lens. The idea of poems as spells, inviting something to come into existence with words, perhaps to arrive from the past, to become existent in the moment or in the future. I attach the idea of “poetry” more widely (not only as a form of literature) to the art of having gaps, traces, echoes, openness, open meaning, even open identity. Revealing betweenness. Or trying to grasp or define something by leaving openness in the air, stating the betweenness, revealing the echoes. And then the magic of spoken poetry: producing sounds, words, sentences, gaps, relations, atmosphere and meaning – that is a whole body liaison!