Summerhall (The Terrace)
Trying to explain what Eulogy is about is a tall order. Only those already familiar with binaural pioneer company Darkfield‘s previous work will have a fuller idea of what to expect. However, if I had to pick three words to define the experience, they would be hypnotic, enveloping and abysmal. Deprived of my sight, I almost enter a state of trance, trying with every inch of my perception to understand what is happening around me. During the thirty minutes spent in the shipping container it feels like everything is wrapping around me. The total darkness is like a blanket over my head, with ambience noises and voices coming from any direction. Abysmal is the uncomfortable sense of sinking slowly, deeper and deeper into the basement of a bottomless hotel – every time the voice in the lift announces a lower floor, I wonder how much further down I will be taken.
Although I am protected on three sides by the linen cage on which I’m sat, I am reluctant to move, for fear of bumping into those people I hear walking around me. All my other senses become heightened. I’m too nervous to even turn my head and I’m clinging on to my own thighs, all whilst I try to understand where I’m being taken. It’s an odd journey, each room has distinctive noises, but I can hardly make out what’s being said.
Fortunately, every so often, the comforting voice of my chaperone whispers into my ear, reassuring me that she hasn’t left me alone. I can tell when we are in the lift because I can recognise the gentle breeze and the rattling of the wheels as the linen trolley goes through its doors. Sometimes we change location so suddenly I wonder whether we have the power of teleportation, or if we’re just travelling across different layers of my subconscious. I don’t get a chance to find the answer and I feel a sense of relief when I safely reach my destination.
One might wonder why Eulogy is so good when you can’t even tell what is happening. For me, it’s because it pushes the boundaries of my willpower, it makes me feel vulnerable and yet sheltered at the same time. Although I never felt alone, I became a witness of my own fate, which is slightly disturbing. Tucked in my corner, I hoped they wouldn’t forget to take me along, I relied on them to take care of me. There’s not much I could have done to stop or divert the course of what was happening, and yet, I knew I was being a part of it.
Written by: Glen Neath
Directed by: David Rosenberg & Glen Neath
Produced by: Darkfield
Eulogy plays at Summerhall until 28 August, times vary. Further information and bookings here.