Stairwell piece n.1 is an instruction score written for the East-side stairwell of Sheffield’s Arts Tower (UK). The piece originated from research on using Lefebvrian rhythmanalysis as a method for musical composition and live performance, focusing in particular on the notion of the “body as a metronome.” The harmonica is used as a tool to voice the rhythms of breathing and the impact of architecture onto the body as the performers ascend and descend the stairs. The East side stairwell, located right next to the elevator shaft, is chosen as a performance space due to the morphology of the sounds created by the movement of the elevator cabins, drawing a parallel between the actions of inhaling/exhaling and ascending/descending.
A recording of Stairwell piece n.1 performed with Julia Schauerman in December 2021 is available on diSONARE’s sound archive. The performance started on the Lower Ground floor and it was captured with a stereo mic placed on the top floor of the building.
Julia and I performed and recorded the piece again in July 2022, with microphones on the Ground, 10th and 19th floor of the building: