In Between silence

Where we really exist

In Between Silence, where we really exist’ is an ongoing collection of intimate personal stories by diverse participants, including many leading Irish and International writers and artists. Devised by ground breaking Irish artist STANO. The project launched at the International Literature Festival Dublin in May 2016 and made its North American debut in December 2016, in the off Broadway Barrow Street Theatre, New York.

Where it Began:

‘In Between Silence, where we really exist’ like a lot of Stano’s work began by chance and has organically grown by word of mouth to a collection of almost 100 stories. “I was in my studio recording harmonica player Brian Palm, during a break Brian began telling a story about a trip he had made some years before.  A few sentences in I asked him to stop and go back into the studio and let me record it. I had been working on some new tracks with Dutch jazz guitarist Jeen Rabs, experimenting with new tunings, I opened up a random track and Brian told his story, he asked what would he do if he needed to pause, I said just play your harmonica in the gaps. The piece of music was around 6mins long and Brian amazingly finished his story about 10 seconds before the end of the track. In that moment I knew something extraordinary had happened. I brought the track home and played it to my wife and said, all my years of recording has brought me to this point.

The Process:

‘In Between Silence – where we really exist’ is a project which is the first of its kind. Many would go so far as to say that it is a new genre. Irish poet, Theo Dorgan, describes it as “a total experience…a multidimensional world in sound… the way the soundscape travels you into the story, is really quite uncanny”. The stories are told by some of Ireland’s finest writers and artists, including Dermot Bolger, Anne Enright, Roddy Doyle, Paula Meehan, Joseph O’Connor and Robert Ballagh. Stano is a very strong force inside the artistic life of Ireland. ‘In Between Silence’ is an entirely Irish conception celebrating universal consciousness – the value of people’s ordinary thoughts – in a communal and universally beguiling manner.

STANO himself says of the project: “I create a musical composition for each participant in advance of their coming to the studio. I don’t hear the story and the participants don’t hear the composition until they start to record. I want to capture the spontaneous response of each person to the music and the impact it has on their delivery. Seated in the darkness, the stories unfold for the audience, punctuated only by the appearance of a single image of significance to the story, which appears at the end of each piece. My interest is in rediscovering the power of the shared experience of music and storytelling, of listening, of allowing our imagination to bring us on our own journey while engaging with the voice of the storyteller”

‍The audience sit comfortably in a darkened space and hear a range of stories, that pull at their heartstrings, make them laugh, but most of all they share in the most basic of human interactions, our desire to share the stories of our lives with each other. The stories are more than words, they connect with us at a deep level that we carry with us long after the experience of listening.”.