Red Chamber Pei-Yu Shi

A friend of mine came across a dance project which was inspired from 4.48 Psychosis by Sarah Kane (1971–99) and forwarded the choreography to me with Kane’s play text “4.48 Psychosis” to be set to music. My aim was to get an insight into the inner world of the writer. I searched for her moods at the time of writing her work. I proceeded to set them musically and have attempted to portray the mental and emotional changes on various levels throughout the process of scenic narrative in combination with the choreographic movements.

Sarah Kane was an English playwright whose works deal with the themes of redemptive love, sexual desire, pain, torture ( both physical and psychological ) and death.

On page reference 4.48 Psychosis, there are neither characters nor any indication of how many actors are required. The text is laid out following the conventions of a modernist poem, rather than those of a play. This is a deliberate attempt to suggest the experience of psychological collapse, and, in particular what happens to a person’s mind when they suffer a psychotic breakdown; a process where the barriers which distinguish reality and various forms of imagination disappear. In 4.48 Psychosis, the boundaries of normality between waking life and dreams, oneself and the outside world, are deliberately collapsed.

Source: CEC / Concordia Archival Project (CAP), 2009

  • Year of composition: 2009
  • Genre: Acousmatics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Instrumentation: video dance and five channel tape
  • Hardware used: Computer, interface, loudspeakers and screen
  • Software used: Neuendo, final cut pro and iDVD
  • Duration of the submitted work: 7:55
  • Production: University
  • Disc publication: For DVD: Red Chamber-for video dance and 5 channel tape For CD: Red Chamber-for video dance and 5 channel tape (stereo version)

Linked project

  • Acosta, Arsenault, Ashton-Beaucage, Barrette, Basanta, Beaudoin, Bergeron, Bond, Bowles, Boyko…
    92 tracks