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Sprechgesang Sarah K Williams

Sprechgesang exhibited in the HEREart Gallery from May 5 - July 2, 2016.

About the show

Sprechgesang: a vocal technique popularized in Romantic Era German opera, halfway between
song and spoken word, attempting to find a more authentic expression of the human condition.

Sprechgesang presents a series of works as part of an ongoing practice of “stille opera”, or “silent/motionless” opera. Borrowing compositional elements from traditional operatic structure to organize a series of objects in a narrative progression, the project aims to develop a language of visual notation at the intersection of musical and material composition.

The work in this exhibition focuses on preparatory elements for the stille opera, Mid-sized Creatures, including orchestra layouts, stage renderings, prop lists, and character studies.
Much like a musical staff, repeated grid structures offer a surface for clusters of tiny, note-like objects, while collections of disembodied hands act as both audience and protagonist. Together, the pieces outline the environment and supporting ingredients for the in-progress narrative: A portrait of two characters’ ongoing struggle for human connection within an evolving relationship / in search of a shared language of the in-between / the Sprechgesang.  


Artist: Sarah K Williams
Curators: Hanne Tierney and Kim Whitener