A project developed by Lou Barnell.

A period of research and development funded by Arts Council England to develop my creative practice has culminated in M E L T A, a new interactive durational performance installation fusing experimental audio-visual composition with alchemical sculptures and wearable sensor technology.


Performance is type of dream.

And dreaming is a kind of performance.
These are spaces where we make meaning in the moment and enact the unsayable.

Over the past year, I have developed ‘live dreaming’ as a method of exploring multidimensional orientation, listening and embodied sound.

The ‘performance dream’ exists within porous membranes between body and material. This allows me to imagine possible futures for humanity in the face of self-destruction. 
It gives language to my feelings of disorientation and alienation as a neurodivergent female.
I use alchemical wearable sound- material sculptures made and reformed live using ice and reusable thermoplastic, and biorhythmic sensors, to create a live body-sonic score.
The work in progress MELTA features Lisa Busby (Movement and Vocals) and Robin Foster (Technical Director)

The audience are invited into a kaleidoscopic, melting, fragile world where materials, bodies and sound resonate and communicate together intensely. A hypnotic explosion of sensory experimentation, shimmering visuals, extended vocal techniques and sensual, queasy sound. Everything quivers, droops, slips and bends. Movements are precise precarious and unsettling. Corporeal granular sounds oscillate, triggered by biorhythmic and environmental data.

Open rehearsal at New River Studios October 2019

‘Words dropping like teeth 
Clattering onto the floor
Crisp and woody 
Dry and sharp
Bedsheets and bodybags
Tinkling bells
Wings flapping violently against glass.
All made to disintegrate when you touch them’ 


Features and Articles:

March 2020
International Women’s Day 2020 on Resonance FM

November 2019
Year Long Interview’ with Curator Natalie Pace

August 2019
Interview in The Sunday tribune with Jude Cowan Montague