ADSR (2023/24)

ADSR [attacco.decadimento.sostiene.rilascio]
winner, Birds of Passage Residency, BASE Milano
Curator: Mistura Allison (founder, ashikọ)
with support from Moleskine Foundation

proclivity: ADSR [attacco.decadimento.sostiene.rilascio] is the third movement in “proclivity,” a nine movement suite composed with live-looped instruments, interactive sound channels, light sculpture, gestures, and multi-screen video projections. Departing from Toni Morrison’s assertion that “I am all the things I have ever loved,” this piece meets us in the throes of our undoing from collective grief, asking what are we left to love, and who does that make us? Smythe sifts through found footage and field recordings of Black life in the Mediterranean and from the live audience to compose a powerful sensory experience that pulses between tension and release. Embodying the four stages of sound modulation—attack, decay, sustain, and release—through interactive soundscape and soft physicality, proclivity: A.D.S.R. invites witnesses to reflect on their own experiences of ecological connection, heralding a chorus of possibility through dissonance.

The attack stage is characterised by sudden, sharp movements and intense physicality, representing the initial spark of attraction or the sudden onset of conflict. The decay stage is marked by a gradual winding down of energy and movement, representing the ebb and flow of intimacy and the gradual erosion of connection. The sustain stage is characterised by sustained, repetitive movements that create a sense of suspended tension and anticipation, representing the intense emotional charge that can arise in moments of deep connection. Finally, the release stage is marked by a sense of catharsis and release, as the performer and participants let go of their physical and emotional tension, in a chorus of possibility through dissonance.

Performance, sound composition & design – SA Smythe
Video work and final score –
Photography – ©
Video documentation –
Video clips/trailer –