‘eon om circle song’
Live performance (01/03/2022)
Nicola Singh, 2022
As part of her residency with La Bonne Women and Girls Centre (Barcelona), Nicola presented a performance work ‘eon om circle song’. The piece revolves around the mantra ‘om’. A sacred sound of Vedic origin which can be translated from Sanskrit as ‘divine consciousness’.
Performing in La Bonne’s gallery space, surrounded by an audience, she expressed the ubiquitous sound through vocal improvisation. She sounded the mantra at different pitches, focusing on the sound and her breath as it began at her stomach, passed through her throat and ended at her lips. Inspired by Joan La Barbara's extended vocal techniques, she also chanted on the inhale. Drawing the intention into herself.
The performance posits the ‘om’ mantra as a cultural artefact. It aimed to provoke discourse on how the meaning and intention of the ‘om’ mantra has been lost, misappropriated and capitalised through the exploitation of the philosophy of yoga. Sound is used as a lens to explore colonial pasts and its contemporary effects.
Nicola has returned to photographic documentation of this performance, adding marks that playfully represent chakra and nadi systems in the body and which indicate use of the voice in the performance and the atmospheres and images that emerged. As described across yogic philosophies, chakra are energy points in the body and nadi are the channels through which prana or breath flows.