We started working on HARMONY in 2015 when Ran was in China, where the government censorship is approaching an Orwellian level. In China, internet users are not given access to websites with user-generated contents including Facebook, Wikipedia, etc. This is mirrored in the US where people are desensitized by the constant flood of information.
Harmony, pronounced "He Xie" in Mandarin, is written as the characters "和谐". Two completely different characters, "河蟹", are pronounced the same way, except they mean "the river crab". "The river crab", along with other "mystical creatures", such as "French Croatian Squids" (法克鱿, which sounds like Fuck You phonetically in Mandarin), have become revolutionary mascots. By using homophones to dodge surveillance, the internet-savvy young generations accomplished cyberspace civil disobedience.
Harmony, in China, is an illusion, created by the government's control over media. We hypothesize that the US version of the "Harmony" illusion, is the "greatness" that Trump speaks of.
Is true harmony just a pipe dream?
The current iteration of HARMONY includes voices of 46 individuals from around the world. Over the past year, they have shared with us their thoughts on the world's current political climate, as well as the vulnerabilities we all share as a species. Their stories have turned the perplexing concept of harmony into a remedy in these unsettling times, and a weapon of our self-protection.
Harmony is not a play. It is a sound sculpture welded with truths, a collection of voices, which converge together like streams to the ocean. We hope that in this hearing space, a community will flourish, and we'll be ever stronger with hope.
-- From Ran and Charlotte
FEATURING 46 VOICES FROM AROUND THE WORLD:
Raquel Borromeo, Sean Jenny, Clara Pagone, Jennie Campbell, Lindsay Wells, Matthew Vitticore, Charlotte Arnoux, Joey Labadia, Monica Trausch, Joanna Fang, Maya Land, Adham James Haddara, Gehad ‘Gee’ ElShaikh, Abraham Marlett, Alex Parrish, Danny Wilfred, Emily Cordes, Amy Cordes, Emily Krause, Jason Almeida, Joey Rizzolo, Katie Vincent, Laura Aristovolus, Lexa Krebs, Marissa Rutka, Priyanka Voruganti, Victoria Giambalvo, Aurelien Arnoux, Penny Wu, Christopher Fok, Erika Baum, Byanjana Thapa, Irene Turri, Puy Navarro, Dominique Decamps, Laure Porche, Ran Xia, Simon Lu, Kendra Augustin, Robert Devonshire, K. Sloan, Janet Admasu, Lula Konner, Karen Oughtred, Mo Faramawy, and Erica Rose
SPECIAL THANKS to musical contributions from Neil Erua, Lulu Clohessy, et al, Marissa Stewart, Laura Kruegel, and Rebecca Strimaitis