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Replaying the Tape – Jane Boxall
“Replay the tape a million times… and I doubt that anything like Homo sapiens would ever evolve again.” — Stephen J Gould
‘Replaying the Tape’ is a collaboration between women practitioners: New-York based composer Dr. Jane Boxall, palaeontologist Dr. Frankie Dunn, and poet Penny Boxall. We will conjure an imaginary menagerie of animals which might have existed had the dice-throw of evolution fallen differently. Jane will compose and premiere new music for tape and live percussionist, which in a performance setting will interweave with the live poetry performance. The tape aspect will include field recordings from Dr. Dunn’s archaeological digs, tape manipulation of found sounds, and excerpts from research and altered samples from the new poetry itself. The live percussion part will have choreographic and visual elements. Penny Boxall will write new poems for the project, and perform these live in concert with me.
Our project will help make palaeontology accessible to a new audience, and writing workshops and legacy recordings make the project truly inclusive. By engaging with cutting-edge research about the ancient origins of animal life, we will make accessible an area which not only suffers from an image problem (palaeontology has long been perceived as an area of science difficult for women to enter, and for the public to engage with), but which is ripe for creative interpretation.
Music and poetry bring the remote closer; this project might enable adults and children to have an emotional response to an abstract area of science. Our aim is to imagine, through words and sound, animals which have never been, but could have existed: we wish to invite our audience to consider what role chance plays in our own existence.