And then there was Quiet

"And Then There Was Quiet" a multi-media installation with ambisonic sound, video projection and dance work. 4/28-30 at EMPAC


Inspired by personal experiences of the tragic result of the present times “And then there was Quiet” is born from quietness or the stillness of movement and sound. Silence and quietness are usually associated with peace and calm.. The kind of silence that is inescapable, expanded to a place of fraught undeniability. The creation of this performance both agitates and plays with the energetic environment in which we currently live, a reaction to the overwhelming speed and “loudness” of information we are surrounded by that is being forcibly clashed against our experience.The departure of loved ones removed before their time, leaving behind emptiness, a void and a literal silence, both physically and auditory It is a performance and visual work rooted in the aesthetics of contemporary dance theatre and contemporary classical music.





However this perspective has been negated by the aspect of death, the stripping away of life and human movement, this is what this work aims to portray and reflect upon. The departure of loved ones removed before their time, leaving behind emptiness, a void and a literal silence, both physically and auditory


Artists Carson Reiners (Movement-Direction) and Ricardo Tovar Mateus (Composer - Performer) and Marek Vesely (Videographer) pursue “ And Then There Was Quiet” as performance that includes the creation of original music that will combine live projection to expand the theatrical and technological elements of the work to demonstrate the symbiosis between visual and audio elements.


This work is a reaction to the sound of “noise”, the loudness of socio-political commentary and the overload of information that is often perspectively self-imposed from a personal position or agenda. The inspiration for this creation, is a reaction and an attempt to relearn how to “listen”. On one hand how does one “listen” to the environment, while also expanding on the idea of listening to a high pitch frequency and the affect it illustrates when it stops and it takes you a moment to “hear” again.Which our current experience is relatable to. This contrasting experience is a relevant aspect of this works’ artistic investigation. These two extremes. This theme is represented by a strong interest in intersecting of our curiosity and exploration of audiovisual relationships. The content and the means allow for an invitation to discuss the points where visual art and dramaturgy synchronize and intersect. Demonstrating a way to “learn to listen” in a new way.


The setting and all original footage of the visual material is set in The Republic of Malta (current residendency of New York based movement-direction Carson Reiners) it explores different settings of the island. The work is filmed and created on vast environments to give range to the island, which includes, the undefined coast, historical areas, and even structures that are no longer in use. The visual design is conceived in a way that separates the environmental and historic associations of the environment focusing on the emotion of the performer and the textures within which the performer interacts. The focus of relating and interacting with the environment without prejudice or overwhelming aspects of what the environment offers. When an individual is engaged at a highly personal and emotional state many aspects fade away, as when we encounter this new world that we inhibit. In using such environments we saw the environment and situation for what it is, while the performer and videographer aimed to capture what the eye saw from a very concentrated and intune perspective. The environment offered a very “loud” perspective but in true relation to the current world we cultivated a work that brings a harmony to the elements and presents the world as it is. A way to still “hear” A study of body movement and interaction with spaces that were once full of interaction personally and socially, now left behind and forsaken.


Come to EMPAC:

28th, 29th and 30th of April

There will be 40 min in person showings at EMPAC Studio 1 every hour starting 11 am until 4 pm (For campus authorized RPI community only)


Watch online:

Everyone please join us online. A stream version of the installation will take place Thursday 29th and Friday 30th of April at 3:00 pm followed by a Q&A with the artists at 4:00 pm (UTC-4)

Link to stream: https://linktr.ee/mateus_music


This project has been made possible by the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences (HASS) Production Grant and the Department of the Arts, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute