Dobbs creates the score to the performance piece with a chopped and screwed approach to tape tracks of voice and various instruments. The voices of Williams and Dobbs interpenetrate on tape and in live performance as they read from a poem, and dismantled fragments of that poem, written for the piece. The pre-recorded voices of the performers cut through the work and flood it with language.
The Sun Is Going Down The Moon May Rise In Blood is a performance piece by Spencer Dobbs and Robin Kathleen Williams for two voices, tapes, bells, stones, red ochre, cloth and string. Williams applies red ochre to her hands and performs a languid series of gestures that evoke the paleolithic artist in the cave and the illusory phases of the moon. The primeval materials of ochre and stone are worked with in an attempt to resurrect and strengthen the ancestral memory of pre-historic artists whose work with these materials can be tracked back 75,000 years. Bells, cloth and string, common elements of ancestor veneration rituals, are handled intuitively by the ochre-smeared hands of the performer.
The piece is not a ritual itself, but serves as a reorientation of the artist to the earliest elements of art—not through artifice but rather in ways that organically situate the performers in the present and in their dislocated relationships to an unknown past.
The title of the piece is a line from Blind James Campbell’s song “The Moon May Rise In Blood,” which describes the coloration of the moon during a full lunar eclipse.