*Laughing to Forget** (with generous support from the Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation)
Length: c. 15 minutes
About this Piece
Natacha Diels’ work includes the comple- tion of a series of fairytales/nightmares for performers, and the construction of a Portal with her performance duo On Structure. Natacha founded the experi- mental music collective Ensemble Pample- mousse in 2003 and continues to be its director and flutist. In 2009 she co-found- ed the performance duo On Structure with Jessie Marino. Natacha holds degrees in flute performance and integrated digital media from NYU, in music composition from Columbia University, and currently teaches composition and computer music at the University of California, San Diego.
Three ways laughter might disappear from your skill set:
- Ordinary life events Disastrous special occasions.
- Untouchable pain, from loss or loneliness.
- These three are not mutually exclusive, but growing like bamboo into one another, colliding vacantly.
To relearn laughter means:
- To peer curiously into the glued-on googly eyes of a fish on ice without considering death.
- To feel and live all that is around you, when before it was as though everything beauti- ful was wrapped in cellophane — inacces- sible and noisy.
- To have available to you all the loves — friends, lovers, strangers, art, children, words…
- To dance on uneven ground.
Laughing to forget is intentional memory — rebuilding history in the image of strength, solidarity, and compassion.
From Milan Kundera, The Book of Laughter and Forgetting:
It takes so little, so infinitely little, for someone to find himself on the other side of the border, where everything— love, convictions, faith, history— no longer has meaning. The whole mystery of human life resides on the fact that it is spent in the immediate proximity of, and even in direct contact with, that border, that it is separat- ed from it not by kilometers but by barely a millimeter. — Natacha Diels