Saturday, 4 July 2015

Neville Gabie's Collective Breath at the SVA

Pluck a number from out of the aether,
Preferably, a numerical palindrome,
Indicating a Janus-like equality:
One thousand one hundred and eleven, for example.
1,111 is a number symbolizing a union
Of the individual and the collective:
A fusion of self and society:
‘I am he as you are she as you are me
And we are all together’ -
Which is where the aether comes in.

Neville Gabie has WOMAD-collected
The exhalations of this number of people,
Bagged them and fused them and released them
From a Brobdingnagian–like apparatus,
In a release of collective air that took 49 seconds:
7 times 7;
And even a solitary 7
Is a magical number at the most quotidian of times -
But seven to the power of seven is an alchemical,
Numerological representation of Interdependence:
The self and society, a harmony of parts,
A state of social beatitude - peace through diversity:
We all share the same air, equally, communally, globally,
With no airs and graces, affectation, and putting on airs,
In theory;
In theory,
No pollution, respiratory problems and global carbon-credits.

So Neville Gabie’s Malmesbury collection of breath,
Is nothing like the exploits of the failed aerial flight
Of the medieval monk of Malmesbury,
Instead the Connemara release of Collective Breath into Atlantic skies,
Over an ocean’s waves, breakers, currents, spume and spray,
Echoes the wireless pioneering of Gugliemo Marconi:
The sound of our interconnectedness:
‘I am he as you are she as you are me
And we are all together.’

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