Composer - Dadson, Phil

Firestarters [zones of darkness and unexpected light] (NZTrio commission, premiered September 2008) – 25′

There is an improvisatory impulse at the root of the work that involves the performers embracing and engaging with a process, a language, a degree of risk, and the ability to fly.

The success of the ‘firestarters’ hinges precariously on just this, and for me that’s an exciting and essential element.

Detailed instructions, including a somewhat prescriptive methodology and a set of invocations, chart the territory for a series of dialogues, much like a set of rites might pave the way for unpredictable arisings. There’s an obvious analogy here with mapping uncharted terrain. Equipment, maps and road code are provided. The performers embark, interpreting directions according to their lights, taking the audience with them for the ride. Similarly, the ‘firestarters’ might be understood as channels or invocations towards dialogues with an ‘other’ dimension. Basic rules of language, vocabulary and syntax are established with the details of communication entrusted to the trio.

Phil Dadson is represented by Starkwhite, Auckland.

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