Minister of Loneliness was my first venture into storytelling alongside visual artist Shiyi Li – a dear friend and long-term collaborator. Emotionally charged aural and visual stimuli combine to depict, through abstract yet honest lenses, feelings of embarrassment, low self-worth and compounding loneliness. It is an interdisciplinary project including live music performance, animation installations and live art performances, divided into four movements. When I first presented the idea to Shiyi and Aisling (double bassist), both resonated with the subject. I am truly grateful to how committed every contributor was to the intention of the work. These were topics that, at the time, were too difficult to reveal in words, and this project served as a microbiome for understanding and communicating them.
Performers: Aisling Reilly (double bass), Gloria Yehilevsky (percussion), Mengxia Liu (live painting), Dingli Yang (live collage), Shiyi Li (visual director)
Shiyi Li, animation, visual director
Gloria Yehilevsky, composer, music director
Nov. 21, 2018 – The LAB, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire (world premiere), Birmingham, UK
Feb. 13, 2019 – UCA Experimental & Expanded Animation Conference, Farnham, UK
Mar-Apr. 2019 – Biennale Internationale Design Saint-Étienne (exhibition), Saint-Étienne, France
May 2, 2019 – Flatpack Film Festival (exhibition), Birmingham, UK
Aug. 14, 2019 – Overlap Animation Show & Tell (solo version), Birmingham, UK
Aug. 28, 2019 – PGVIM International Symposium (solo version) (Asian premiere), Bangkok, Thailand
Sept. 6, 2019 – Showcase Performance and Q&A Session (solo version), Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Nov. 15, 2019 – No Limits launch, New Art West Midlands x Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry, UK
Andrew Woolcock, percussion; Aisling Reilly, double bass
Dec. 6, 2019 – Strength & Sensitivity: Chicago, Hairpin Arts Center (solo version) (North American premiere), Chicago, USA
This was an adaptation of the work for solo percussion with backing track. It was created for portability and premiered at the Princess Galyani Vadhana Institute of Music International Symposium, with Shiyi Li on stage performing projected live collage and painting. The work was also adapted to a single-screen animation, encapsulating the live visual art forms, which allowed it to be performed at Os Music in Hong Kong and Hairpin Arts Center in Chicago, USA.
Live performance at PGVIM International Symposium in Bangkok, Thailand August 2019. Click the image below to view, Minister of Loneliness starts at 1:26:15