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ENG Narrative Thresholds / LUANDA CASELLA

“Fiction evokes feelings of wholeness by depicting characters overcoming internal and external states of exile.
Fiction draws us in to these depictions through our acts of identification, interaction, observation. 
Fiction evokes feelings of wholeness by evoking our sadistic desires. 
Fiction evokes feelings of wholeness through unhappy endings. 
Fiction evokes feelings of wholeness by turning bad into good.
Fiction plays to both our regressive and moral impulses.
Fiction plays to primitive psychodynamic fantasies.
Fiction is about the master plot of human existence and it is a part of that story.” 
Ken Sanes, “Contemporary Storytelling:Tales of Life way after the Fall”

NARRATIVE THRESHOLDS - a research on evasive narratives    Luanda Casella

In storytelling writing, there’s a triad used to shape the events in a narrative. It’s the HOOK, HOLD and PAYOFF of the reader’s emotional and intellectual interest. In the simplest possible way, an event comes along in the life of a character, called the “inciting incident”, which either by choice or by accident, throws life out of balance (HOOK). This imbalance arouses in the protagonist a desire to put life back on track. To do that, he conceives an “object of desire”, that would restore life’s balance. Whatever it is, he pursues that desire (HOLD). The plot is built from that inciting incident, when life went out of balance, to the pursuit of the object of desire, to its climax, to the resolution, when balance is restored for better or worse (PAYOFF).
We live in a society where closure (the payoff) is not always an option. Evasiveness, as a rhetorical style, seems to have become the general way in which stories are told. The storytelling dynamics of our times is to HOOK and HOLD us with the promise of a PAYOFF that never really comes.

This research project is an endeavor to address this conflict by creating a storytelling system which is based on the same narrative principles of our contemporary culture: unreliable narration and hypnotic storytelling. The question is how to inverse this mechanism into an invitation to conversation and co-creation of poetic content. Deeply inspired by jazz music I've been looking for strategies to compose (stories) according to similar logics of arrangement — the use of dissonances, tonalities, complex changes in rhythmic patterns and time frames, etc. 

I believe there's a structural similarity between certain styles in (mostly post-modern) literature and jazz; in the sense that they seem to temporarily lift us out of reality and take us to an “outside”, from which we seem to come back mentally healthier and empowered. I believe this evasion speaks directly to our senses on a complex level, allowing us not to "change" or "cure" our mode of existence, but to risk certain convictions.

It becomes a vehicle for affection.


“Telefone sem Fio”   individual storytelling sessions Reservations: please inscribe in the following
This story-telling exercise attempts to create evasive narratives between two narrators. 
It is based on a performative practice to generate plots and story boards developed by Peter Stamer, and inspired by the work “Chinese Whispers” (directed and performed by Peter Stamer and Daniel Aschwanden). During one-hour-sessions I will sit with a guest to create an evasive narrative together departing from the specific set of rules of the “Chinese Whispers” tool.

Finnegans Wake  reading session SAT. 07th of June  from 18.00 to 20.00    Mariana Lanari and Luanda Casella

 “One great part of every human existence is passed in a state which cannot be rendered sensible by the use of wideawake language, cutanddry grammar and goahead plot.”  Finnegans Wake is the single work of literature that can provide and maintain the idea of being close to knowledge without touching it. Where one is able to merge unconsciousness and consciousness in the act of reading, simulating the primary state of being. The active cultivation of ignorance is an eternal wish to know more with a comfortable feeling of never knowing enough. It its a strange book, a compound of fable, symphony, and nightmare — a monstrous enigma. A dream which has freed the author from the necessities of common logic and has enabled him to compress all periods of history, all phases of individual and racial development, into a circular design, of which every part is beginning, middle, and end. We will read aloud pages of this great novel of comic seriousness and poetic prose.  The book will be approached in a slow, relaxed, wrong way. We're open to anyone interested in reading and discussing the book. Prior experience is not necessary, first-time readers can jump right in, and often are the source of fresh ideas. 
As the Wake is a circular tale, it doesn't matter where we are when you join the group

Irresistible Dictation Gertrude Stein jazz impro  THU. 12th of June at 20.00  Giovanni Barcella (drums)

Pablo Casella (guitar), Isnelle da Silveira and Luanda Casella (voice), texts by Gertrude Stein

 “What is the use of a violent kind of delightfulness if there is no pleasure in not getting tired of it.”  Gertrude Stein's innovative writing emphasizes the sounds and rhythms rather than the sense of words. By departing from conventional meaning, grammar and syntax, she attempted to capture “moments of consciousness,” independent of time and memory. 

The pleasure of the game we hunt is the fun of the chase -

conversations with a jazz drummer

SAT. 14th of June at 20hs

Giovanni Barcella (drums solo)   VIDEO: fragments of our talks, hypnosis, ectoplasm and other stories...

I have recently started to interview jazz musicians in the hope of getting more insight on jazz as well as find possibilities of creating new writing-scores departing from the jazz vocabulary. Giovanni and I have talked a few times. This is a fragment of our talks about jazz, as well as a voyage through several other subjects that invaded our conversations — sometimes with delicacy, others with fury.