HomeAgendaA Ritual of Purification

A Ritual of Purification

Vocal sounds and music by August 38th

The underlying concept behind the ritual is the idea that regardless of one’s job or position in life, a key aspect of achieving pure joy is to regularly engage in cleansing, clearing, and purifying practices. August 38th will be using vocal sound as a means of purifying during the ritual.The human voice is the oldest known musical instrument and has a powerful effect on listeners. As the performance takes place, the audience will be lying down on mats while the singers move around the space, creating an immersive and dynamic experience.

The ritual begins with a single voice, gradually joined by others to create a rich tapestry of sound. The music moves from abstract and gentle tones to folkloric calls and responses, powerful female choir sounds, including citations of Ukrainian and Latvian folksongs. The performance continues with impressions and associations of city sounds, people, and noises, eventually transitioning to the sounds of nature, including bird songs, the sound of rain, and breathing.

The ritual concludes with a unifying melody, as all the voices come together to create an energetic and joyful experience. Audience members are welcome to join in the singing at any point during the performance. The closing musical material is entirely improvised by the performers of August 38th, responding in the moment to the energy in the room.

The performance is a 30-minute ritual of cleansing, which will be repeated several times throughout the evening.

August 38th is a vocal ensemble consisting of 10 women vocalists from The Netherlands, Italy, Mexico, USA, Ukraine, Australia, Turkey and Latvia. This stunningly international collective is based in Amsterdam. The focus of this group is improvisation, exploring different possibilities in creating musical textures, atmospheres and stories by using the human voice. Together they explore the possibilities of the human voice and how it can be used in different contexts and interact with the audience. The group works with musical pieces that are written especially for them and use improvisation based on each performer’s unique expression. August 38th is an ensemble that works with the space in which their concert takes place. Moving through the space, surrounding the audience at moments, or walking while singing, creates a situation in which the listener is immersed in sound that moves through the space.