Tone (excerpt) lives on the border between process and object. A vocalized tone cycles between groups of singers, slowly shifting the timbre and location of the sound in a richly resonant acoustic space. The electronic technologies often used for continuous sound installations obscure the enormous human labor required to design, build, power, and maintain electronically produced sound. Tone (excerpt) brings the human labor behind sustained sounds to the foreground. A performance distills the challenges of coordinating human communities for even the most simple, focused of goals: sustaining a tone.
Simone de Beauvoir described the Forbidden City in Beijing as hesitating between appearing ancient and restored; it is eternal but precarious as it is continually maintained in its original form by its constant remaking. A performance of Tone (excerpt) moves precariously through time, unchanging and perpetually remade.