LAURA BARRETT

‘If What They Say Is True’

March 2010 / Toronto



She described it as a paradise, this place. An eden, even. ‘I could maybe actually walk around and strum another instrument.’ She walks around and warms up her throat, bringing the blood into her voice again, wandering around near the staff paper. ‘Do you want to keep a drone,’ she asks.

I sit on the far side of the room, watching her flower dress sway back and forth. ‘You should hear this zanzula.’ We worry about the noise of footsteps overhead, the clacking of shoes shifting. The pulse of harps and bells, unraveling. The sound of ice melting comes out then, from her hands. I am reminded of snow. resonating against the walls, clinging. She tries to find ‘the good note.’ We wait. And then there it is.

A preparation: an exchange of tape, of wire. Of cord, of chord. She moves the piano as if she was a giant. And then the sound of birds being released. Somewhere in this I overhear her say, ‘What kind of territory would I have?’

The floors creak, crisp. All that wood wandering. And they dance a circular pattern together. She who howls soft and he who captures. And they chase one another, playfully, her hands move so quickly, mesmorizing, the point of catharsis. As if taken over. Her eyes are adverted, staring up, the room swallowing her and then her swallowing the room right back.

‘No Further’

‘I almost worry that my voice won’t carry.’ We find the piano, in the central part of the room, on the far wall are painted dinosaur bones, scarred faces. she pumps the pedals and finds the keys that don’t work just right. Bang bang.We wonder: what kind of wood. I again find a place to hide while she practices her scales. Like trains coming in and out of my ears, carrying choirs and coal. The fabric on her dress rustling. Bang bang. Sirens go off in the distance.

Her arms move like marionettes. We say: theatrical, a cabaret. Her bob-cut comes down to meet the end of her face, ducking down. Passerbys stop and watch for a moment, then continue, confused. What movie do you want to see?

— Jordaan Mason

Video by Mitch Fillion
http://www.laurabarrett.net