Repetition Compulsion

Thembi Soddell – Repetition Compulsion from ROOM40 on Vimeo.

This is a video clip for an excerpt of the track Repetition Compulsion, from my album Love Songs. Creating this work was a means to think through my experiences of insidious abuse in intimate relationships and their relationship to my symptoms of (so-called) mental illness. The video clip was made by Vanessa Godden and performed by Emah Fox.

Love Songs is a composition in five movements:

  1. Object (im)Permanence
  2. Erasure
  3. Repetition Compulsion
  4. Who is to Blame?
  5. Epilogue

I composed Love Songs using sounds sampled from Alice Hui-Sheng Chang (voice), Jim Denley (flute), Emah Fox (voice), Cat Hope (electric bass), Martin Kay (field recordings) and Thembi Soddell (objects). It also has an accompanying book of concrete poetry, released with the CD on ROOM40.

The full album can be heard on Self-Titled Magazine, which also has track by track commentary where I address aspects of trauma, psychoanalytic theory (and by extension mental health care), abuse and the silencing of women that informed the work. An audio-visual paper describing the process of creating the work can also be found here.

A performance of Love Songs won the 2019 Green Room Award for Contemporary Sound Performance. My sound installation Held Down, Expanding is also a companion piece to Love Songs and was a finalist in the 2019 APRA-AMCOS Art Music Award for Excellence in Experimental Music.