Song sheets was a project exploring the limitations of language and the individual interpretation of words. It looked at the links between sentimental memory and language and particularly at the ‘catastrophe’ of using language in order to create/recreate an identity. Through mimicking sheet music and institutional archive systems the work seeks to highlight the void between these ephemeral concepts and the documentation of them. Ablett has been working with people to rewrite the lyrics of songs that have a sentimental attachment for them so that the new texts describes their relationship to the song, and through the language they use, also describes them.
The reworked lyrics have been taken to poetry readings where the audience have been invited to read the texts aloud. The reworked lyrics have also been given to a variety of performers, singers and choirs to develop their own interpretations of the writers. Through out the process three pieces of audio documentation have been collected: the writers reading the lyrics to their selected song; recordings taken from the audience at performances and events reading the developed texts; Recordings of the performers interpretations of the text (see video).
Amber Ablett is an artist, designer and curator working in Bergen, NO & London, UK. Ablett’s work uses text, participatory performance and research based work focusing on the limitations and failings of language relating to sentimentality and identity.