The name mOOnWaX refers to the widely held belief that sowing seeds on the waxing moon greatly enhances their potential for growth. It is our hope that the creative ‘seeds’ that we sow will similarly flourish, while at the same time we recognise them for what they are – part of a process that is essentially analogous to nature.
mOOnWaX is a series of open-format, devised, mixed-media events. Each event has an idea or germ which may pertain to the structure, the content or both.
The actual content is determined by the participants, who are free to interpret the idea, while the structure is determined by the organiser(s).
mOOnWaX is not form-specific and while it could function entirely through one medium, it usually includes several.
The events are continuous in the sense that one piece flows directly into the next as much as possible. This means there is no applause, introductions or explanations apart from a welcome that describes what mOOnWaX is and a thankyou for all the participants and guests at the end.
mOOnWaX operates as a charity, the proceeds of which go towards the space. none of the participants or organisers are paid nor are guests obliged to pay.
Refreshments are provided – these should be multi-cultural and delicious.
The programme notes may be more or less specific and can include the title/idea of the event, some creative research around the idea, a list of pieces and/ or participants which may or may not be in order, and other items.
Participants are asked to bring pieces that potentially represent new points of departure to them.
The space can be used to it’s fullest, with pieces happening throughout it or not depending on the idea of the event. At the same time, care needs to be taken that the guests feel comfortable re seating, heating and lighting etc.
mOOnWaX may include an open participation workshop before the event begins which can also run into the event.
SIMPLICITY is the way forward.
MOONWAX OPENING PIECE:
this piece can start as soon as the room is prepared with one or more participant and may include anyone who knows it. each person acts independently while at the same time being aware of the activity of each other person and of the group as a whole.
each person thinks of an idea and then finds a way to express it as simply as possible.
the ideas may be of any sort but always include a formal/structural element.
the way the ideas are expressed is consistent and continuous.
this section can last a long time, reaching a state of static variation in which all participants are active.
passivity may be an element of an idea.
a person may express more than one idea at once, so long as this is sustainable throughout the entire piece.
this section begins spontaneously when any person starts to expand develop or vary an idea.
this may be a sudden or gradual change and must be noticeable to the rest of the group.
once one person begins this process all the other participants follow suit.
this section continues until all ideas are changing in various ways and reaches a state of dynamic variation.
no new ideas are introduced during this section.
an idea may be changed in varying ways or consistently the same way during this section.
at a certain point each person starts to introduce new and diverse ideas.
as before, once one person begins this process all the other participants follow suit.
each person moves away from the initial idea either gradually or suddenly.
this process repeats until many ideas are being thought and expressed in a short space of time.
each new idea should contrast with the previous one.
each person finds a single idea to express as in the first two sections that is not the same idea as before.
this can happen suddenly or gradually and once one person begins the others follow suit.
each person stops in her own time.
NOTE ON DYNAMICS:
the dynamic may change from section to section, but not necessarilly.
all participants make sure their dynamic is roughly the same as the rest of the group throughout.
sections with faster, more complex and more numerous ideas don’t necessarilly have higher dynamics.
NOTE ON INTERACTIONS:
although each participant acts independetly throughout, she is nonetheless as aware as possible of the activity of the other participants and of the group as a whole.
by Alex Kovacs
MOONWAX is liquid quietness & sensual calm. it is disconnected electrical aural outpourings & sudden spasm shifts of movement. there may be twitchings & splutterings. onions might be thrown across the floor. at any time bright & rare objects might be drawn from loose pockets.
MOONWAX happens once a month. always on a sunday evening. and the atmospherics of that precise time are key to what is being achieved at the Islington Chinese Association 12 times a year. location also matters greatly. the out-of-the-way forgotten nature of said Association is very much part of the feeling come showtime. the enormous airy hall upstairs possesses an abandoned stage bearing a backdrop of red fabric & swirling folds of pink silk. assorted chinese objects are packed away in corners & cupboards. the small band of attendees (their limited numbers also crucial to the feeling & atmosphere of current MOONWAX evenings) sit on chairs forming vague circles or cross-legged, or are propped up against the wall. downstairs old people might be playing bingo.
this time around (5/6/2011) was MOONWAX #14. the theme was that of dreaming. extraordinary that something so fragile & rare should survive quite so long. in this moonwax manifestation the intrepid could discover an assortment of wonders.
*movements possibly inspired by Sartre’s “huis clos” in which jubilation seemed to alternate w/ confusion, abrasion, tenderness. muscular body contortions & whisperings in french.
*sparse piano notes mingling w/ sustained single clarinet notes & accordion drones. the creators of this sound allowing portions of musical silence into the fold also. these stretches of quiet memorably occupied w/ sounds of rain falling, birds singing, doors creaking from downstairs & the occasional grand heavy progress of railway coaches.
*a short play involving Oprah Winfrey repeatedly dreaming about policemen inside bushes. enacted with wooden figurines & also involving percussive clangings & tappings + intermittent vocal narration with visual aids.
*a violin piece which explored the meaning of the instrument itself. tiny string pluckings w/ various different innovations involving bowings of the wood . its brevity also significant.
* a spirited public demonstration of the various ways in which it’s possible to walk across a room. or just across space. all by the last homo sapien surveying the remains of the world.
and: *moving quotation of Martin Luther King’s famous speech on the nature of dreaming. lifted up & placed in such an unusual new context that very new life was brought to its sentiments.
silence is important here. this is one of the few places in London in which public silences are natural, are commonplace. such an attitude helps to form an environment in which every last physical element is a potential prop or avenue leading towards who-knows-what destination.
every first sunday of the month (normally).
Alex Kovacs (6/6/2011)