a working song for two voices
A driven, wordless exchange between two voices, Bone Needles is a working song guided by the markings “summoning” “weaving” and “casting off.”
Commissioned by Amy Pivar Dances, Bone Needles was completed on 29 March 2006 and first performed on 21, 22, 23 April 2006 by Elaine Valby and the composer, with movement choreographed and performed by Amy Pivar, as part of the OBject/obJECT showcase at Dance New Amsterdam in New York City.
A collection of abstract vocal sounds, Bone Needles is fueled by the possibilities for direct communication between two voices even without words. Markings within the score (“summoning” “weaving” and “casting off”) guide an exchange that I imagined after watching a group of women in Nicaragua repairing nets on the beach with long needles made from fish bones.
After a thin, sharp object – which might very well have been one of their bone needles – pierced my foot on that same trip, the image of their sewing took on a richer meaning: as they continued to mend their nets, I was at work mending in a different way. In Bone Needles, I explore the way in which two voices might mend together, working and weaving, driven by an inward focus that manifests itself in an outward musical expression. -Gilda Lyons