Exit Strategy is a collaborative
partnership between two theatre artists, Theron Schmidt and Chris Goode.
They are currently working across various media on a series of 'crowd
studies', of which BROKEN HOME is the second. Exit Strategy are recipients
of an Artsadmin Artists' Bursary.
BROKEN HOME is a sound piece consisting of
a ‘theme’, or base statement, and four ‘variations’
All of the five sections can be treated separately and used independently.
The base theme [track 1] was created by recording Microsoft Sam (the speech
synthesizer bundled with Windows XP] saying the word ‘home’.
This was then timestretched to 250x its original length, to a new duration
of almost six minutes. The word ‘home’ is broken apart into
its constituents, and is no longer recognizeable as a word but only as
a series of abstract sounds.
For the first variation [track 2] the theme signal is subjected to a number
of filter processes, most of which have the effect of further degrading
the original material. This track is recorded as live.
For the second variation [track 3] Theron Schmidt agreed to record a live
narration of the last few minutes of his journey home, ending with his
arrival back at his flat. Three such recordings were made, on three different
days, and these are overlaid onto the base theme.
The third variation [track 4] uses as an overlay a collage from field
recordings made by Exit Strategy at the Trafalgar Square rally of 19 March
2005, organised by the Stop the War Coalition under the slogan ‘Bring
Our Troops Home’.
The fourth variation [track 5] is a remix / conflation of the first three.
Different connotations of the word ‘home’ come in and out
of focus in this piece; finally, in the fourth variation, they compete
for prominence in a densely crowded sound field. The final slamming door
becomes a deeply ambivalent comment on the idea of home as refuge, as
a controllable zone, and as an apparent fixed hiatus in the prosecution
of public life.