Land without fireflies
Nesta terra sem vagalumes

by Marina Cyrino

I wanted little lamps that the flute could eat. I traversed the flute with any lamp that would fit. In my search, I find one that likes to slide with my breath, head to foot, when I close all the holes of the flute. And suddenly, a fire finger dawns. Pushing and pulling, the lamp keeps sounding. Sometimes I mumble. A tidal breath. When a finger shows its glow, I blink a night trill. I hear a siren, a buzzer. Or a bored cricket. The lamp is spacious and takes over the tube inside, muting and distorting the sounds that I try. Not much comes out. But the little that comes, I listen to its inner eyes.

If balloons: give a shape to breath. Inside the round world, shining insects. Bug cage. A balloon tied up at the end of a flute head is inflated by the breath of the flutist and fights back: it re-expels the air. The headjoint exhales. A fight between lungs. The reversed path of air. By letting the balloon empty slowly, by letting the air out through the embouchure hole with the help of a finger-valve, I walk around the room and let the air gently touch faces of those I find in the dark. Air is affection, air is a caress. I let the headjoint play my own mouth. I mime a Brazilian lullaby, and the air of the balloon makes my words sound without any movement of my vocal chords. Sometimes by accident, a balloon explodes, like a nightmare breaking the tender fabric of sleep.

If thunder: an alto flute prepared with lightning. A spring attached to a membrane is the reminiscence of Kulturtemplet’s massive reverberations. I play without my breath by transforming the flute into a spring-drum-flute- thunder. I play the air always inside the tube, air that traverses the flute’s body independently of mine. Sometimes, I mix both our breaths.

A lamp inside a mouth makes plenty of drool. Tiny flasks, for magic or chemistry. I search for a spell made of luminescent slime. I spit out a bug. A bottle transformed into a crystal ball. I spin it around. It might reach someone who can tell our fortune.

Sometimes a wind-up toy runs dizzy with sparks, and distracts while I prepare the next movement, the stroboscopic- balloon. It screams the floor, it makes it tickle. Sparklz is a wind-up toy created by the Brazilian artist Chico Bicalho.

The air-flesh: O ar bicho. A sphere grows, grows, grows. Enormous. Blinking. Stroboscopic air. There is so much. Air. Fleeing. All around. Never able to catch. I try to hold it, keep it, but the cunning air, blue or green, runs away, jumps away. Until I grab it. I press it tight against my chest. Until it turns my heart.




Images by Marina Cyrino