Friday, October 21, 2011

Postage stamp

Belle (right) and the Sa Sa team take the audience applause at the end of tonight's performance
Hot, sweaty and cramped is how I would describe the viewing experience at The Sounding Room earlier this evening, as far too many people packed into the tiny confines of this new experimental, interactive sound installation room inside the White Building on Sothearos Boulevard. Performing on a postage stamp, Belle used every available inch to glide around the narrow space between the audience and the wall for her improvised dance piece, as David Gunn and other members of the Sa Sa Art Projects team created the impromptu sound using the available instruments and sound-effects microphones. Most of the crowd were foreigners, though a few Khmers joined in as did a gaggle of the neighborhood children, which is the cross-section of people that the Sa Sa team are looking to attract to this community project. Having someone of the calibre of Belle to kick-off their events programme always helps and her fluidity of movement despite the lack of space was extraordinary, as we've come to expect from this ultra-talented performer. Experimental music will be a tough sell to some of the residents of the ramshackle White Building, where the darkened hallways smell of piss and the area is less than salubrious at the best of times, but the Sa Sa team are determined to try something new for a community who have a historical reputation as a hotbed of the arts.
Viewing the instrument called Khim at The Sounding Room, where local residents are encouraged to come along and try out the musical installations

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