Still Sleeping

by meira asher

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*Grand Prix Nova 2017 shortlisted*

In June 2016 I was invited to create a piece to be played at a
valley which is located in the forest of Jerusalem. I wanted to initiate a
sound-walk to the other side of the forest where the 16-year-old
Palestinian boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by a
Jewish settler and his two teenage nephews in July 2014.

My proposal was rejected.

When I travelled with my children to the South Sinai desert a
month later, I realised that my motherly fears are now leaking
through my steady mindset and my ability to suppress them is
clearly dropping.
This is the start of ‘Still Sleeping’.
The piece was completed on August 8, 2016.
It contains field and body recordings, electronics and voice.
Commissioned by Eyebeam NY, for the Site Specific Soundart
exhibition 'Acoustic Infrastructures' curated by Jamie Allen.


Soundscape: a burning boy in a forest
Precisely, the Jerusalem forest
July 2014
The Sound between his mother and me
The Sound where we mothers sink [sync]
July 2016
Sound FEAR
My sound FEAR
my children are sound asleep
(sea drained)
I delve into the sound of the Sound:

Soundproof forest amongst right wing neighbourhoods
Car stops by, a man with a big head talking ‘is everything okay?’
I stand where the boy was set on fire
The man must know where I stand
I stand in the sound FEAR of all mothers
I say ‘who are you?’
Man says ‘We’re watching over you, are you okay?’
See the small stones on the ground?
Here they set the boy on fire
Her boy my boy your boy our boy.
Who the hell sets a young boy on fire?!
They, scum.

Soundproof cha mber amongst soaring mountains
My children are sound asleep
under the stars
(sea drained)
I sit still by the stairs to the chamber
My head surrenders to visions of horror:
Abduction. Someone’s descending the mountain behind, coming here, lifting my daughter, running away.
She cries Ima Ima… [cont]

My eyelids start drooping I fall asleep not knowing
what will my eyes encounter tomorrow
Will they all be here?
What if one will be missing, taken to the mountains to a temporary base camp, tortured, set on fire, alive?

Soundproof skull chamber of grey matter
Blasting, shrinking, push it push it push it ALL
to the back of my head
good morning sun
good morning my children
You’re all here
Still Sleeping
Still alive.


released March 21, 2020
I used special microphones designed by scientist Noam
Gavrieli to record my body, and a fragment from "grouse
mountain, silent forest" - a field recording by Frank Schulte for
Radio Aporee.


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meira asher North District, Israel

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