A note on: Maja Jantar, a bear suit, shamanism & a church for Soundings III - November 18th 2015

I'm not sure how much can be said after the fact of this collaboration without yet having the video that shows Maja's operatic voice, as beautiful a sound as the human voice can create, entering the vast and mostly empty innards of St.John on Bethnal Green, a large, morbid, enchanting Victorian church in the heart of East London, without her being their in person, as I mimed a bible reading from Mircea Eliade's book 'Shamanism'. Or how to describe the look on the dozen in attendance on a cold wednesday night when she entered the church body wearing a huge bear suit that sat upon her shoulders like a crown, as a priestess, singing, as I spoke silently. And her crowning me with that suit and connecting us via red thread. Or our conversation after that, in pure bestial bear noise and free language glossolalia. And the priest was the first to congratulate us on the performance.

It was one of the highlights of my year to collaborate with Maja, an artist so distinct and powerful as to be both utterly entrancing and intimidating at the same time. It was lovely too to be able to host her in London, after our first meeting in Paris, in a circus, in 2014, and to spend time with her, walking London, in discussion about our collaboration. I'm grateful to those who attended and to the Hubbub curators who have put a lot into the Soundings project so far www.stevenjfowler.com/soundings