Her East Coast Vibe: Notes on an Album Launch 08 February 2020

Stolen Voices HQ (aka Rebecca Collins and Johanna Linsley) sent a communication to Fan Riot (aka Owen G. Parry) with a MISSION to write a response following the London launch of the Stolen Voices Album. This is what we received:

A conceptual raffle it is! Your pre-paid ticket gives you free entry into a game where no one knows the rules but everyone’s a winner, baby. The prize – a gorgeous piece of 12 inch vinyl – an album – also conceptual.

Somewhere between medieval lore and tabloid pun these women decoded monopoly and made the sun come up via non-charismatic rituals for the broken hearted. They had carefully managed a cosmic summoning: an organised act which would render a new definition for a people on the brink of an embarrassed island – a people in decay. To make manifest this act they took several trips to The Edge with some funny looking sticks, but without ever letting on about their intention: to trespass The Private Area; to linger for too long in hotel lobbies with basement spas drinking her favourite alcoholic infusion – a G&T with star anise. This act of lurking combined with their mastered style of ambient attention seeking became an embodied methodology, a concept cocktail which they casually referred to as her east coast vibe – all directed through one single inconspicuous ear. “Lets take it in turns to be me”, she whispered. And they did. And stuff happened.

Okay, this is all very good, but we have some questions: Are these women listening or being listened to? Are these women summoning or being summoned?

Here’s what we found:

There are multiple women with binders – multiple binders – and they all show up all tethered together to perform a single action at the sea-edge. They are not anonymous per se. Like, you’ve seen them before on the TV, or you’ve read about them in an Agatha Christie novel. They are coastal figurinas with binders – multiple binders – that climb into the bath with you in that moment when you just close your eyes. Shut. It’s a podcast. No. it’s your tin ship freight crate cargo sail bathtub. No. It’s the log flume at Wet n’ Wild you rode as a kid. The one where the log once “de-railed” or so they all told you over and over and over as you queued for the ride.

“So, what I’m saying is… A photo souvenir is not enough to help you forget the voices in your head”. It’s a murder mystery, guys. And yes, it’s true, it’s not clear what crime has been committed, but it’s almost entirely certain that one has.

There are objects in their mission worthy of a thicker description. Long dangly ones with arms. Not terribly useful ones, and some binoculars made of jello. Their sole purpose: to divert attention away from the four-eared detective instrument with multiple arms – there in the room – poking around, lifting-up bin lids, listening to The Clean Surface Areas of artificially constructed show homes with no real plumbing intact. Google it! These women are on a blinking mission.

She takes a stethoscope. Now here’s the thing… And lifts her top up to listen to her own heartbeat.  Ears plugged, tuning in to her own inner radio, she feels the cold metallic surface against her warm rising pecho. Her arm hairs engage causing a prickly-tingle-effect. She raises an arm up with limp intention. It’s breezy. She looks out to sea.

“What we need to do, is we need to send out a signal, and if we do this we should hear something back… within two weeks, and if we don’t hear back, we are to assume that unfortunately we were not successful this time round.”

We actively listen and wait for something that can’t ever be heard to make itself heard. Something ferocious. This could be a storm in a harbour, a corporate hack, or a territorial uprising – actual bits of land in pieces – a splitting of an island in two… let one part sink and please God let the other part float off into the North Sea like a good egg.

It’s a modest thing really. Just swarms of bees making cloud shapes over The Audience Area. Like, we know that this is just the beginning of something timed, but also pushing against time. Like, it’s not like this thing is “timely” (as in of this time), or “timeless” (as in forever relevant to the past, present, or future); but rather it feels like it’s “out of time” – by which I am referring to that feeling or tendency toward exaggeration and incretion that structures every good story.

They burrow, the women, as they drum and hum, not holes but patches in The Dry Skin-Area. Bruises appear and disappear like memory flashes.  She holds her breath and they all do. It’s quite powerful really.

For more, more and more of this grab a ticket for ‘Stolen Voices Album Launch’ at CCA Glasgow Saturday 8th February 6:30pm. Tickets available through the Box Office: https://www.cca-glasgow.com/programme/stolen-voices-album-launch