Khora: Somewhere, Anywhere, Nowhere is a portrait of a location, Syros, in both memory and real-time. The piece explores the collection, formation, and transmission of this location. The project was inspired by Plato's idea of khôra, a place that exists as a porous location, a receptacle (or a medium), or even a gap, that allows itself to be filled with conceptions. I was overlaying different moments and memories to transmit to this khora (this once empty and growing fuller memory of place through time) through the sounds of anticipation, arrival, exploration, and transmission.
These particular locations on the island of Syros was compelling for both its history and its sonic character. The Eastern Telegraph Company (ETC) building, once part of the first global radio communication network, now abandoned and inhabited only by pigeons, sits directly on the water. The doors face the shipbreaking yard, the economic core of Hermopolis (the capital of Syros and once the capital of Greece), which at the time was closed die to a workers' strike for one and a half years. There are recordings under water of docked ships arriving boats, and waves. Behind the ETC are the ruins of a large brick building, the Lazaretto, which had initially been a quarantine for immigrants, and then became an asylum for the mentally ill. Now it is full of weeds, crumbling stone, empty barrels, and birds. Some of the recordings made in the Lazaretto, were then played back on the metal barrels with transducers and re-recorded on site.
Pherecydes, a philosopher who taught Pythagoras, lived on Syros and had a summer and winter teaching cave. He taught that time was hidden elemental material itself, a space and medium that could was occupied and flowed continually without dissipation, never entering the entropic state of matter. The recordings made in his summer teaching cave are from a VLF antennae, capturing the flickering static of the ionosphere and radio transmissions caught on shorter waves.
Khora was composed during the Syros Sound Meetings/Syros International Film Festival Residency in 2015 for a collaborative film with John Schmidt.