Citrus
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tape, voice, food blender, electronics, grapefruit & slides [25’] 1993

Commissioner: Richard Dale
Funder: Creative New Zealand
Premiere: Juliet Palmer, SoundCulture Japan, Tokyo, January 27, 1993.
Program note:

Beginning with a photograph I hold dear of my grandparents proudly displaying bunches of home-grown grapefruit, I set out to make this image resonate through my obsessive expression of this personal icon. I wanted to turn the grapefruit into sound.

Grapefruit.

I searched for texts using the words pulp, juice, juicy, grapefruit, squeeze, peel… Then I found and recorded people who seemed ‘right’ for the scenarios and characters these texts evoked. I recorded the fruit themselves: cut into pieces, sucked, juiced and drunk. I listened to the recordings and found that the most interesting moments were when the tape recorder caught people off-guard in their attempts to assume the new identities the written texts suggested. Not only did these ‘found’ words take me to a place apparently far from my family and the fruit, but my friends’ voices and personalities tapped into tones and emotions I had not expected. I wanted to stage an intense physical interaction with the fruit itself. A cadenza for blender and 75 grapefruit was born and is now the fulcrum of the entire performance piece. During the first 10 minutes I chop feverishly as many fruit as possible into segments which the audience devour before I deal the final electric blow to the remaining fruit. In the end, all that remains is to drink deeply and to sing.

Citrus received an honourable mention at Prix Ars Elctronica in 1994.