Make a Hoo, manipulate Festival 2017, Traverse, review

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Phoene Samsovath (Sound Artist)
Sita Pieraccini (performer), David Pollock (Musician/Live Sound Artist)
Running time

It’s a part of the human condition to want to connect beyond oneself – to call out from our own small corner in the hope of a returning ‘cooee’ or in this case a ‘hoo’ to know you’re not just whistling in the wind. This latest solo work from Sita Pieraccini, that was inspired by a residency in Sri Lanka and features elements of local folk songs, explores this universally understood and utterly human concept.

In her unique impassioned physical style, Pieraccini goes on a journey where she tries to make sense of the shifting world around her. Using a range of live foley sounds from David Pollock and startling visuals that go from an insect’s view of undergrowth to a monochromed kaleidoscope on a back screen, she creates an absorbing and strangely recognisable world. A torch held like a fragile egg and a swirling mirrorball are just parts of the highly effective lighting that enhance the striking performance atmospherically.

Pieraccini silently syncs her vigorous movements in a physical mirroring of the array of sounds from some pastoral chirruping to urban rhythmic machinery and the buffeting of bone shaking trains, all done in what looks like a pretty unaccommodating dress yet one that doesn’t limit her range or ambition. Her call to the audience to respond to her ‘Hoo’ is met readily bringing a light moment amid her intense work.

The examination of daily and primitive survival, as performed with her moving and memorable piece Bird, is clearly a theme that is close to the artist’s heart and it is continued in this mainly wordless but not soundless new work that premièred at manipulate Festival 2017. Make a Hoo is programmed as having no spoken dialogue but towards the end Pieraccini speaks directly if briefly to the audience with a quote from the novel Reef by Sri Lankan author Romesh Guneschara.

‘If there are gods in this world, or in the next, let them take pity on us and give us strength every day, because we need it every day. Every single day. There is no let up, ever. Not really.’

Pieraccini has in her physicality created a reflection of some of the many forms of daily living, of trying to make sense of confusion around us and the vital importance of making a ‘hoo’.

01 February 2017 at 9pm age recommend 12+