Kind Of Silence

Platform, The Bridge, Glasgow

Mary Brennan


“The world is silent, and music is everywhere.” The words spool across the front of the programme for Kind Of Silence but, really, they are only a hint of what director Danny Krass and Solar Bear – a theatre company making work with deaf and hearing performers for a similarly integrated audience – have explored in the piece.

With ideas of communication and shared understanding in mind, Kind Of Silence brings together myth, movement and modern technology. The concept is rooted in the stories of Echo and Narcissus. Besotted with his own reflection, Narcissus can’t see beyond it while Echo has lost the power of spontaneous speech and can only repeat the phrases of others. One is stuck in a visual loop, the other is stuck in an aural loop.

In the myth, they share only their respective isolation. On stage, they share an environment where – thanks to the inventive techno-percussion of live drummer Alon Ilsar – sound takes on a physicality as immediate and dramatic as the (visible) choreography of Chisato Minamimura.

The effect on all three performers translates into a expressive mosaic of discoveries, emotional and personal as well as sound-related. As Charlene Boyd, Jacob Casselden and James Anthony Pearson channel rhythm, volume and cadence through their bodies, so wave frequencies dance across an up-stage screen: we see and hear music everywhere. And if the open-sided box on-stage is Echo’s Cave, it also becomes a visual metaphor for silence, for a place of refuge, for a state of mind and, yes, for exclusion... Radical, challenging, sometimes elusive, Kind Of Silence is a tremendous, imaginative leap towards making music vibrant for deaf and hearing audiences alike.