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OUTER EAR: Charlotte Hug

Swiss vocalist/violist Charlotte Hug will perform Slipway to Galaxies, a performance influenced by long stays in Ireland, and experiments in sleep research. Hug submitted herself and her creative activity to forty hours of sleep-deprivation in the sleep laboratory at Zurich University. She drew, played and sang uninterruptedly for forty whole hours. She was not concerned solely with remaining awake for forty hours; rather, she wanted to leave the comfort zone that sleep represents, and thus artistically penetrate the blind spot of night. The artist’s experiment on herself in the sleep laboratory was extended by a further experience with another encounter with extreme temporal and physical duress: Hug allowed herself to be immersed in water for 5 hours in a dockyard near Cork in Southern Ireland, as she stood in the Atlantic playing the violin and singing, and the waters rose up to her neck. Her playing became at once almost euphorically light and very powerful. Slipway to Galaxies is inspired and informed by sleeplessness, oscillating between visual experience and unfettered sounds, between the separation and collision of logic and emotion.

Violist, vocalist, composer and artist Charlotte Hug lives in Zurich and on the road. She seeks to develop instrumental techniques to their fullest possible extent, which includes the “soft bow technique”, by means of which she can play up to eight voices on her instrument. She plays a viola made by J.G. Thir in 1763. She also specializes in combining the sounds of viola and voice. What has resulted is an unmistakable and distinct tonal language. Hug is known for her solo performances in distinctive locations such as the ice tunnels of the Rhône glacier, the half demolished bunker in Berlin Humboldthain, the House of Detention, a 250 year old former prison in Farringdon in London, the hot healing sulphur springs beneath the former luxury hotel of Verenahof in Baden, Switzerland or the dockyard in Coph on the Irish Atlantic coast. In the visual arena, as well as in the musical context, her sound-drawings “Son-Icons” have found international recognition. Hug also composes with graphic musical notation. These have resulted in spatial and video scores range of works from solo to orchestra pieces. Solo exhibitions at the Cité internationale des Arts Paris, at the Kunstkeller Bern, Swissnex San Francisco, the Sirius Arts Centre Cobh Cork Ireland and the Musuem of Art Luzern.