Postures, sound recording and filmmaker comments

Postures, sound recording and filmmaker comments

Performance document for Postures, sound recording taken from the room during the performance with spoken comments form the filmmaker/witness.

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Postures, Instruction Manual

1) Set out to respond/react instinctually to randomly selected pre-recorded sound/music pieces, not knowing what will be played and for what duration of time

2) Posture reaction will be static, yet allow for this parameter to shift and morph if felt appropriate

3) Have no pre-designated idea of what kind of movement will be suited to what type of piece selected – i.e. frantic or jagged movement for extreme noise

4) Ask a member of the crew to become a part of the performance, detailing that they have to commentate on what they are witnessing and experiencing.

5) Record results via audio and video.

Comments about LOCKED OUT, curator’s project response

– One of the most challenging parts of this project for me, as the curator, was the presence of a filmmaker. It meant that the performances were framed within a definite start and finish and were constructed in such a way that the camera would pick up certain elements and almost get in the way of a “purer” spectator-performance relation. However, as the project progressed, the camera set up began to become an integral part of the piece and the process and this served as a reminder of the documentary nature of the project and also interjected with the performance, providing additional parameters to what was going on (along with the electricity issues, the space, the situation and conditions under which this project was taking place).

– I caught myself panicking on a few occasions that the project would have no footage at all which is ironic considering my standpoint on filming performance art. I almost felt as if I had a responsibility to finally show people who had been following the written evidence, what we had been doing visually, like a final revelation for the project, which is something I never thought I would consider. This is probably because I myself am so accustomed to the vision is knowledge mantra even though I try to challenge it.

– Would the project have changed drastically if there was a larger audience outside of myself as the curator/witness and the filmmaker? I’m not sure this is so relevant to be asking myself this question because it wasn’t about taking away an audience altogether, even if it was just the artist and the camera there is an implied audience through this, it’s all about how people respond to secondary evidence.

– Its interesting how the video documentation interjects with the performance- it gives it a start and a finish within an undefined start and finish of the performance which adds to it and disrupts it at the same time, but not necessarily negatively.

– Does it matter if I don’t know enough about sound and sonic environments to report back all of the details, should I not strive to know and just respond aesthetically instead- if this can ever purely be done.

– I could let people walk around the detritus of the performance week and let people contemplate the objects of the performance but this is really a step too far for my viewpoints about performance, it’s a step further than visual evidence because objects to me are a connotation of material exchange. You need to relate to a body not an object- a photograph is a visual object but is always attached to its referent so there is a difference. Although, one to be debated further.

Meditations within the Golden Machine: Fractured Trance State, curator/witness response

5th performance
– Introduction of another person
– Again the precision in which Jamie operates and activates the instruments is like that of a surgeon/scientist.
– The new person adds a different spatial perspective to the performance space- foreground and background because of where she is sitting- so we become “out of the picture” or the frame and are observers but again not disembodied observers because we are still part of the situation
– We are aesthetically receiving the situation
– TITLE: “Meditations within the Golden Machine: Fractured Trance State”- this describes the conceptual and the actual.
– This time Jamie is also working with the filmmaker as collaborator to as he speeds up and slows down the lights flickering intuitively by responding to Jamie’s movements, so the document is interfering with the piece- but is it? It’s strictly just the document, the filming has become part of the performance.
– The sitter/new collaborator in the front is getting into a deep meditative place/trance as the artist starts to manipulate the vibrations using the Mbira on the guitar
– She sits on the floor in the foreground- he is just engaging physically with the instrument but the sound is attempting to engage with her but she is blocking this out by entering into a different state of mind, does this make her body more receptive if her mind is entering a different state? No, because the two and inextricably intertwined.
– The flashing lights too are goading and interrupting or attempting to.
– It’s difficult to choose whose state to mirror as a spectator. Because my eyes are open its really easy to get distracted by what Jamie is doing and the lights so I’m not at rest at all like the meditating sitter. Even though I can see her, I can’t emulate her state.
– One of the most interrupting things is the silence every so often- silence usually means the end.
– When will she know if it’s the end? Does she end it by being interrupted?
– There were spates of rhythm and continuity and patterns and then none.

 

Meditations within the Golden Machine: Fractured Trance State, artist and collaborator response

– How did you view what you were doing?
Uncontrollable, sporadic interruption
– How did you react to this?
Noise and lights bring different emotions with them but I was facing them down, I am here- more present and more affirmed because I am facing this adversity
– How did it progress?
More challenging as it went along but never uneasy.
She had turned her back on it- would it be different if the sound had confronted her from the front?
– With her back to Jamie he felt like she was beckoning him on.
– She felt totally in the space and sound, not taking her mind away but the opposite, more affirmed within the situation.
– Jamie had no intention of Crescendo and by purposely trying to be interruptive it became conceited. That was limiting the intensity for the whole thing. Improv within contrivance.

Meditations within the Golden Machine: Fractured Trance State, instruction manual

1) Meet, after two and half to three years of a harrowing relationship, a beautiful soul with no expectation whatsoever that you will ever perform together

2) Say yes to a proposed project that allows for the collaboration of you and this aforementioned beautiful soul

3) Find common ground that can combine a strict yoga practice and an experimental guitar based improvisation

4) Be surprised that the collaboration and the resulting recorded performance based on the idea of interrupting a meditative state then finally submitting to it, actually happens with ease

5) Write down instructions on how to carry out performance, on request

6) Consider the fact that the last instruction of these instructions brings to mind something quite fractal in nature.

Written Hypothesis, Instruction Manual

1) Notice something that has been noticed before but not by you

2) Write, fairly uninterrupted, about your so-called new discovery

3) Do not be phased when an unforeseen sonic event changes the thread

4) Self berate, insult and invigorate the possibility that you, under camera and light and scrutiny are a charlatan.

5) Finish once you have arrived at five pieces of paper with writing on them, barely legible.

Written Hypothesis, Artist Response

– It starts serious then got interrupted by a text which changes the context to the immediate reaction, not the thought- I started to look at myself like a caricature.
– It would be important for some of the audience to read it and relay it to the others- but again they have to take their word for it. It defies the expectation of what people perceive from the title
– Sound was important because it’s about the complex rhythmical structures being used through handwriting
– Frantic and intense
– I wasn’t aware of the peaks and troughs in speed
– It was the most surreal performance for me to experience because I’ve never been focussed in on so much when I am writing, I felt like I was under a microscope, under scrutiny even though I was in control of the piece.

Written Hypothesis, Curator Response

CAC: Friday
“Written Hypothesis”
– Desk, paper, pen, spotlight
– Minute movements compared to the whole body because it is just the hands but the hands are moving so vigorously
– The circuit here is the flow of the thoughts to the movement to the writing being produced- where does it close? The writing being read back and influencing the thoughts that keep the motion of writing going.- but does he move too fast for this?
– Control and un-control again, the movements of the hand are faster than the conscious thoughts of the ideas but not the “biological thought” of the brain making the hands move.
– I can’t see what he is writing but I know from experience that his movements are conducive to writing- but is my expectation a bit tainted by the title of the piece? How do I know he’s not just scribbling symbols or drawing?
– Qu: why did he begin really fast rather than slow if he was trying to go through something methodically? To keep up with the flow of his thoughts? – it was only fast when he began. It begins to slow- the act of contemplating the content of what is being written.
– It’s not automatic necessarily because he’s doing it from stored memories about each piece he has done. But then is ti automatic because handwriting is so ingrained we don’t have to consciously think about every little movement we are doing?
– Its very silent apart from the scratching of the pen- it’s quite a laboured way of getting thoughts out but a closer relation to the direct production of the text rather than it going through a system and being displayed on a screen which is a different type of hand-eye-body coordination altogether.
– There are points where it speeds up again.
– The writing is amplified through the amp but because of the silence of the atmosphere I’ve only just noticed, I thought I was just hearing the scratching of the pen.
Qu: Why did you amplify it?
Qu: Why the change to writing with your fist?
Qu: Are we allowed to see what has been written?
Qu: Why did you go off and return?
– Are these questions we should be asking? Why do I want to know more than what I am experiencing?

Curator/Witness Response to Lack of Nuclei Vibration’

18/4/14
CAC: Friday, 3rd
– ‘Lack of Nuclei Vibration’
– Wine glasses dotted around in a ring around a singing bowl- microphone laid out on top of the singing bowl and attached to an amp.
– In this piece, rather than it being a concentration on the body and how objects interact with that- its how the body- or just the hands are interacting with the objects- he has disjointed himself in this way- is this more kinetic sculpture or music than “performance art”?
– The form of Jamie’s work is very much tied in with performance art and sound and this is one of the closest to the sound performance side.- he is creating live rather than “being”, as in an end product/process in performance, maybe this is the distinction to be made here.
– Water in the wine glasses gives them a different pitch, so what is coming back into the room from the amp (via the mic) will be more textured.
– Artist- methodically and calmly placing bells in certain glasses that are going to be chosen in reaction to the sound being created. The sound is influencing he placement.
– Rather than Jamie being in control of it as such, he’s letting what’s happening guide his actions.
– Lack of control- performance you assume the performer is in total control
– Jamie: “A the very least, the glasses have changed the interior architecture of the room so it has the effect of coaxing the glasses to perform their own resonant frequency”.
– What’s really interesting is that the glasses could be entirely irrelevant but we (and the artist) can’t tell within this situation.
– Each glass has its own performance
– The mic is getting encased in the glass of water and getting reproduced through the amp so we’re closing a circuit.
– It seems like the glasses are always “alive”/active and the mic going over them is picking it up or giving us a way to access the vibrations with our hearing what is already going on.
– What if the actual performance here is the entire experiment?- if we are thinking about how to frame this- All these things that seem like a before or a building up to an event are actually the event itself because there is endless scope for experimentation here.
– With how concentrated he is and only focussing on the glasses and sound we as audience don’t feel involved, there is a heightened sense of audience-as-observer UNTIL the sound is so piercing it hurts your ears which brings your own body immediately in toward the piece.
– Model universe feel to the set up
– What is the significance of lighting this situation?
Light is important to highlight my potential movement of the liquid.
– So it brings a visual aesthetic level to it
Yes, it looks more epic and we can’t tell in this situation but there is the potential that it could be fundamental to the creation of the sound.
– Wine glasses, liquid, circular bells, controlled feedback and microphone.
– Some are really loud and piercing really quickly, some barely make a sound- this inconsistency can be jarring as a spectator but on the other hand, the buzzing of the amp is consistent and so provides the constant context.
– The lights placed on top of the glasses with the bells in seal off the sound but then also highlight that glass so it’s still activated in the situation but only by the light, its sound has been muted.
– The mic is only picking up sound but it somehow looks like it is giving them the sound, our sight, hearing and knowledge (however that is defined) don’t seem to be matching up.
– What’s interesting like most/all performance is that this couldn’t be done in exactly the same way again- the set up could be the same but if re-performed the movements couldn’t (and maybe shouldn’t) be exactly emulated.
Re-performance- the difficulty is how far into it do you go?- do you search for the “essence” to capture? Do it formulaically step by step even though this really wasn’t the point of the piece here?
– Thinking about Minimalism according to Fried, we are implicated in this piece because it relies so much on our hearing it, he would call this theatricality but isn’t his the same- there is no fantasy or effect of sound trying to be achieved it is an accident which arose from experiment , it is just “being” achieved.
– The closer they were to the amp, it was as if they were repelling him and telling him to move on.
– Jamie’s body is changing the space around the glasses by being near them, so his body is involved in this way.
– How did you react doing this piece?
I felt very out of my comfort zone because it wa a new thing and I didn’t have the total control I can have through planning and prior experiment.
– How would you describe what happened?
I was giving inanimate objects an opinion that influenced the rest of them, some of the glasses were up for it, some weren’t
– He found it technique over output.

Lack of Nuclei Vibration Instruction Manual

Lack of Nuclei Vibration Instruction Manual

 

1) Plan to use a central vibratory object in the middle of 100 wineglasses filled with a small amount of liquid, in order to resonate all the glass simultaneously

2) Be slightly disappointed when you cannot find a desired size of foam ball (dimensions variable)

3) Modify performance to new parameters

4) Put the control of the performance in the hands of inanimate objects

5) Interview 50 wineglasses with a microphone and react intuitively depending on their response to an unasked question

6) Reward the innards of a vessel with a gift signifying something

7) Allow the performance to range from visceral feedback conversation to delicate poignancy.

8) End.

Curator Response to Organic Kinetic Object Activation

17/4/14
LOCKED OUT: CAC
Thursday: Organic Kinetic Object Activation

– Set up: guitar on the table with an array of objects laid out like a surgeons table.
– Most of what’s getting produced sound-wise won’t be heard or heard well because it’s not amplified but the recorder will pick it up because its placed on the guitar- its presence is recording or picking up something that wasn’t actually real to me as the witness at the time, it captures more than what is real/knowable to me. It stores the sound of what we can barely hear and then has the potential to play it back to us but this will always be secondary. The presence of the recorder in/on the piece is problematic in this way.
– Are the objects really specifically chosen?
Yes, the metronome for its weight and dimension
– As the performance piece starts its use and placement are a lot more prevalent than this.
The prongs act as a resonator- Mbira on the guitar strings over the sound hole- it’s like a ghostly voice, an incantation over the guitar which is the subject of this seemingly surgical procedure, it feels very primitive and tribal in this way. The Mbira sings out of the vibrations
– What is the relationship between the Mbira and the metronome?
They each have an interruptive vibrating rhythm that inform each other constantly
– The metronome is broken and is used because it activates the piece and then is activated by what it activated- it starts the chain of activation and the chain of momentum events keep it going.
– The piece is strongly related to time becuase the metronome is supposed to fix a time context but is broken which is significant here.
– Mbira and metronome will never be at the same speed- 2 symbiotic worlds of time because one activates and perpetuates the other.
Not amplified.
– The emulation of this situation is usually achieved with electronic music- it’s a primal version of it.
– The hands- it’s to do with a learned movement that can then be applied but things are hanging in the balance
– Tiny, minute movements, you have to strain to perceive them, very little movement of the artist- very dead pan but with concentration and accuracy- the Mbira sings and vibrates but everything is so tiny and balancing
– The performance comes in two pieces but they are both versions of the same, why?
The two performances are the future and the past, the future can be serialised as long as the same method is applied but the past is the same. The past comes second because it explains the future performance, the second one doesn’t use the metronome, it uses beaters to activate the Mbira
– It’s like conjuring up a spell, the beaters take it back again to being more basic, why do you strip it back in this way?
Taking out electronic reliance and technology (which is supposedly a by-product of progress) an advancement can still be made, advancement is still being achieved here and this has been achieved without the use of electronics.

 

Organic Kinetic Sound Object Activation Instruction Manual

1) Place a guitar horizontally onto a level surface
2) Place a broken metronome onto a small piece of wood and then on top of the stringed surface of the guitar by the fret board so it has enough freedom of movement
3) Place a small, specifically weighted Mbira over the sound hole on the guitar close to the bridge
4) Consider that the movements that are going to be made aren’t going to be visible
5) Begin to interact with the Mbira and stringed surface of the guitar to activate the Metronome
6) Perpetuate the metronome click by adjusting the objects enough so the momentum is built up until the sound vibrations and movements reach their peak
7) Finish.

Final piece of non-visual evidence of Cardio Circuit Response Method, a Q&A between curator and artist

LOCKED OUT: Cardio Circuit Response Method, questions and answers (Curator and Artist)

What state were you in when you recorded the original heartbeat?
– It’s my heartbeat from inside the womb, one of the earliest ever recorded heartbeats.

Why did you choose to use it in this context?
– It’s my first response to my non-existence. I wasn’t aware when my heartbeat was recorded but now I am in a state of awareness and have control over it, I can manipulate the recording.

Could you feel your heartbeat changing during the performance?
– I was using my breathing to reference the speed of my heartbeat

How “worked out” were your movements prior to the performance?
– I knew I had to move a lot to change the speed of my heartbeat but I didn’t know until it was actually happening what I could do to really increase and decrease it within the time of the performance, so I went for it.

Hate to ask, but if you had to locate the “art” in this performance where would it be?
– The “art work” is the method, the methods tried to achieve the goal which is to manipulate my living heartbeat in accordance to my unborn one.

Why do you work in this way?
– Sound is created by movement but when it come to some types of music like electronics which is my background, it is not presented with movement, the presentation has moved too far away from the original creation of sound, so I am just moving it back!
The activation of an acoustic event or vibration, this is what it all goes back to, beyond the synthesis involved in electronic music.

– And finally, why did you conceal your face?
I don’t know, I genuinely can’t explain, it felt like it needed to be done.

Cardio Circuit Response Method, new evidence: Instructions for a future re-performance

Cardio Circuit Response Method Instruction Manual
1) Get a medical professional or otherwise to taking a recording of your heartbeat before you are born
2) Archive it for 29 years
3) During the 29 years consider how you might correlate it to your own heartbeat now
4) Contemplate and plan playing it through a speaker in front of an audience or documenter
5) On the day of fruition of the above, plan the location and not the logistics and have knowledge of unobtainable equipment to perform it optimally within a time restraint
6) Set up the amp and recording of your heartbeat in a clinical nature that resembles a medical procedure to emulate the situation in which it was recorded
7) Go through at two failed methods of the response method (even if they are perceived as optimum they must fail to ensure a third) and arrive at the third as the only possible response to instruction No.3
8) Remove clothes to avoid constriction of the body
9) Conceal face using an appropriate method
10) Press play to begin the recorded heartbeat
11) Respond accordingly

Curator/Witness Written Response

16/4/14
CAC LOCKED OUT
– Friday performance evidence of Cardio Circuit Response Method.

– (2 performance objects, the sound recording of the piece, one set of instructions- interview to come later, options of biog)
In such close proximity to the mic, the breathing sounds distorted and deeper, more heavy but more sense of something real- even though this is not how we would usually hear it, this is based on an assumption it being closer to the bodily function so it must be more real?- this heightens the sense of a live performing body because its amplified but only if experienced live

One constant is the rhythm of the recorded heartbeat being played, it puts a frame around the piece when the actions are more scattered and unpredictable. It gives the illusion of it getting faster as the movements intensify but it does remain as a constant parameter.

The artist’s body doesn’t fit the space comfortably, his height, it puts you on edge as you spectate and you feel your heartbeat unrealistically mirroring the recording.

The artist’s face is shrouded by a T-Shirt tied around his head so his “whole” appearance isn’t revealed- not a costume or a mask but more like masking- not all access to the artist (by sight)- even something here remains unrevealed when the piece is live.
Taped to a recorder which leads to some wires he has made a full circuit but with body and machine- much like the heartbeat which is the ultimate sign of life has become transformed by a machine (recording equipment) and modified as it can be manipulated (started and stopped)

The red light- it intensifies the piece, everything is intensified, the body by the machine, the space with the light- yet the body is the integral part in the circuit and introduces human error and judgement into the machine/circuit- human error- blocks falling, recording equipment kicked

Thrashing around but not pretending- he’s actually thrashing around to try and physically alter a state in his body (his heartbeat) he was trying to force his body to speed up or slow down- not creating an illusion of struggle but actually struggling to achieve this change
The limitations of the mic and wires seem prevalent- although he has used this on purpose so must have known and chosen o use it in this way- constricted by his own set up

The body is physically constricted by the “machines” but purposely so

Day 1: LOCKED OUT

Day 1: LOCKED OUT about to head to the CAC for first live performance piece, dragging the generator behind us. First piece of evidence:

Title: CARDIO CIRCUIT RESPONSE METHOD
Artist: JAMIE STURROCK

QU: Are these relevant to the the actual performance? How does this contribute to our knowledge of the performance or is it just expectation?

Julieann O’Malley- Salty Milk: Violation of Expectation

Blog entry with an audience member’s comments…

 

Something interesting happened to me the other day.

I was trapped in a room, with a pregnant woman. Baby clothes hung on a low washing line; a toy doll lay neglected on the floor. The radio chymed something I didn’t recognise, but it reminded me of the the womb. Across the floor were little shotglasses of salted milk which one by one, rhythmically and unceremoniously, she began to drink. As she looked up, she caught me in her penetrating stare. Her steely eyes made bluer by her 1970s eye shadow. I made every effort not to fidget. It was quite mesmerising.  In the far corner, on top of a stake was a large, pig’s head. It’s nose dripped almost in time with the mechanical background noises.

I’ve never seen any performance art before, but the pig’s head didn’t bother me much. Some of the others didn’t like the sight of it.

The lady, without saying a word, emptied some ginger bread men on to a tray, and picking her way across the shot glasses, offered them to her guests. Cautiously, we each accepted one, not knowing whether we were required to eat it.

The radio continued to crackle.

It’s funny, performance art, because much of the time you haven’t a fuck what’s going on.

It’s not as awkard as panto, where you must publicly humiliate yourself, but at times you do interact, so as not to ruin it for the other people watching.

You find yourself working quite hard to interpret, to fill in the blanks. In theory, the dynamic is not dissimilar to a consumer watching an ad. ‘What do you want me to do? Buy this chocolate? Ok!’

The difference is, a consumer will never take the extra second to decipher an ad. It must be spelt out, sung out even, like a nice loud bell.

*CLUNNNGGGGGG!!!*

Suddenly she dropped the tray with a clatter.

(Oh Christ. What now? A ripple of alarm spread through all watching.)

Then she returned to her milk, working her way repetitiously across the room.

I wasn’t allowed to leave, and for a while I didn’t want to. Then she started being sick. Just every so often. Instead of drink drink drink, it became drink…drink…..SICK. She didn’t break eye contact though.

I glanced nervously at my blue suede trainers.

It became clear that she was doomed to drink every last drop. We were trapped in her grim and solitary mission.  The smell of the sick didn’t hit at once, but when it did I began to feel quite claustrophobic; caught up in this nauseous, dystopian parody of motherhood.

I hoped she wouldn’t be sick on my shoes.

About an hour and a half later, (after having shaved the pigs face, might I add) she showed everyone the door.

It all felt incredibly real, surreal of course, but I felt a huge sense of empathy with this woman. Fuck men! fuck pregnancy! fuck being a 1970s housewife!

It provoked me think about the golden rule we’re often told when making campaigns; ‘never show a mirror up to the audience’.  Take it further. Make it aspirational, or make it terrifying.

I’m going to inject a little bit of pigs blood and puked up milk into all of my work from now on.

(Catch Julieann O’Malley’s Salty Milk Violation of Expectation if you can)

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Paula Davy- Jigsaw of the Queen Part.1

Time went quickly. The hesitation of the viewers before joining was pleasing. That moment when multiple people were joining in: Once we were focused on the actual jigsaw time seemed to fly by. The first 10 minutes was really slow and I thought “Oh no this is going to take forever”. The small talk is engaging, the performer is likeable despite appearing deliberately rude: kind of endearing.

Brain dribble chatting and repeating ideas like Basset Hounds: Casual and engaging. I wonder whether all these people know each other? I wonder what it would be like if no one joined in? What will happen when we fail?

Duncan Ward- Old Tricks

Ends of World

First of all, this is my first encounter with this “type” of performance.

I was interested in really playing the game- really observing my own reactions to the set up “Locked In”

to the space

to the performer

to the performance.

the sense of time is the first thing: I doubt I’ve ever felt this “in touch” with the length of things, with time passing, with someone “creating time”.

I was scared of coming. Scared of going to a weird performance, scared of interacting with other members of the audience. I embraced this fear, for the first time as well, i connected with the event stimulating my brain but without necessarily being entertaining.

It was up to me to get into it. However, some of the actions/sounds/images/words WERE entertaining, some seemed POETRY to me, some metaphorical and catharsis, some moments were resonant of a critic of society.

I felt good about the performer. I guess I felt he wasn’t an arty farty prick. I felt he was sincere, going on a true journey…

I was self-conscious of being too naive and too positive about everything, i kept looking at others to check if they liked it.

Locked in: I was cold and I probably would have picked my coat if i hadn’t been locked in. the sound of the champagne. i felt i understood huge aspects of society simply by following this collage of images, textures etc. I felt lucky I felt like the space was perfect.

I was thinking: is the red thread cheesy? I thought: IS this a degree show? I loved the champagne and the wine ritual. I thought: is he nervous? Is he going too quickly? I was happy I felt so many things even though it was my first “fine art” durational performance- I liked the face of the performer, he looks like my brothers, some cousins, some friends, that totally helped to make it a performance based on collage. Between reality and dreams and thought I didn’t feel liek he was removed from the real world like I feel some fine art artists are.

I thought: is it his first performance? I thought: how did he describe what he was going to do to the curator? I liked the first text of the booklet about memory and present. I had the SAME THOUGHT during the performance, I thought: don’t drift away. Because what is happening, you can not make it happen in your thoughts. You even might not be able to remember it.

I liked he calmness yet the sense of enjoyment of the performer.