Turning Jewels Into Water
Turning Jewels Into Water (TJIW) is a live electronic duo led by Indian-born drummer/producer Ravish Momin along with Haitian electronic percussionist Val Jeanty. They seamlessly blend electronic drums, turntables, ritual chants, live loops and synth melodies along with rhythms inspired by global dance music.
TJIW will collaborate with the video artist Art Jones and dancers Ranubi and Ivvy to create an interdisciplinary work that depicts the transformation of an individual facing the impacts of climate-change. Quite often, the current public discourse around climate change puts the responsibility to address change on the individual and not sufficiently on the industrial systems that are primarily responsible. Using multiple dancers and live video elements, we hope to examine how an individual can find solidarity with others to initiate systemic change.
We feel that this collaboration comes at a critical time, when we need to address the impacts of climate change and also offer a message of hope and solidarity. A smaller version of this project with all the participants, except the video-artist, will be presented at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s free summer concert series, on July 21, 2020. We will partner with Asian American Arts Alliance to present the full scale performance in October 2020.
The new work will be built around an electronic music framework designed by TJIW and will be divided into three sections. The primary goal is to create an interdisciplinary performance that looks at the causes of climate change, depicts the current consequences on a woman, and finally finds her community rising up in solidarity to create a sustainable future.
On a deeper level, the themes of each section are (1) Thoughtlessness (2) Consequences and (3) Rebirth. All involved have an equally important role. The video-artist will generate a multiple-channel video installation featuring imagery and animations that visualizes the various sections. These visuals will be projected onto various surfaces on the stage including a background screen, in chronological order, as the narrative of the woman unfolds.
The musicians will perform a live-score that utilizes acoustic as well as digital elements to depict the tension between nature and industrialization. The dancer Ivvy who is the central figure in this story represents humanity, while dancer Ranubi represents Mother Earth. They will create a choreography that reacts to the visual and musical cues.
First, we will determine what images and animations will be used to symbolize the industrialization. Here, the musical score will be dark and ominous. The next focus will be a depiction of the impacts of the industrialization on the climate. Here, we will create choreography for the dancers getting overwhelmed. The musical score will be increasingly dense. Finally, we will depict the rebirth process by curating images and animations of large groups of people protesting, forcing industries to change, and subsequently seeing thriving flora and fauna. The choreography here depicts the transition of the dancers into vibrant beings in harmony. The music score here would evoke ancient chants and a joyous rhythmic celebration.
In comparison to the scope of the the proposal, this video depicts a simplified story of a woman affected by climate change, as we were not able to add visuals and projections to further enhance the narrative. The flex-dancer Ivvy represents humanity, while the fire-dancer represents Mother Earth. The narrative moves from her struggle to survive the dark forces of climate-change to living in harmony with Mother Earth.
Filmed at a festival in Tarcento, Italy in 2018, this video showcases a collaboration with a live video-artist.
While the visual material here is not related to climate change, such interdisciplinary collaborations are customary to TJIW’s live performances. By sharing this work-sample, we also wanted to highlight the musical content, which is celebratory in nature, and would be utilized in the “Rebirth” section of our 3-part performance.
Start and End Dates
07/21/2020 — 10/31/2020
Brooklyn, New York