Electroacoustic Composition

Still from 'Churile' by Vanessa Godden
Glue and Return begins with an extended version of a track titled The Absence of Inclination,  first composed by Thembi in 2013. This work drew upon the novel ​​​Girl, Interrupted by Susanna Kaysen – a semi-autobiographical depiction of the author’s stay in a psychiatric institution in the 1960s. It embodies concepts from the chapter ‘Velocity versus Viscosity’, which describes the “thickened perception” and variations in speed that can be experienced in states of depression and anxiety.
The work moves on to a section inspired by a poem by video and performance artist, Vanessa Godden, whose work explores the entanglement of her experiences of multi-ethnicity and the aftermath of rape:
I woke up broken, brown.
You woke up smug with your scales, beige.
All I could hear, smell, feel, taste and see, crimson.
Is this what it means to be a woman?
The sound extricates the energy of rage, pain, grief and lament for the history of abuse against women, and the shared yet isolating impact of this violence.
Glue and Return is built from samples of vocal performance by Alice Hui-Sheng Chang, Emah Fox, Vanessa Godden, Jessica Pinney and Thembi Soddell, flute performed by Jim Denley, spoken word by Vanessa Godden, and objects and analogue synthesis performed by Thembi Soddell. It was first presented at the Avantwhatever Festival in July, 2016, and later recorded and remixed for presentation on ​​Ears have Ears: Unexplored Territories in Sound.

A section the the work is used as the sound design for Vanessa Godden's video work, Churile (2016), which was a key inspiration for ​Glue and Return