Tramway, Glasgow Four stars The silence, when it comes at the end of Melanie Wilson's hauntingly intense multi-media monologue, speaks volumes about how much Wilson's unique oeuvre is about sound as much as vision. Wilson enters in darkness, sitting behind an antique kitchen table on which sits a laptop, a microphone and other electronic kit from which Wilson generates and performs her intricately controlled soundscape that accompanies her ornately chosen words. Such a set-up hints at how past will meet present in what follows, with Wilson's words delivered into the microphone with a cut-glass precision that turns her voice into another instrument. Wilson's first-person narrative is told by Vivien, a photo-journalist trying to get her head together in the country following her experiences in a middle-eastern war-zone. In the solitary cottage she confines herself in, she finds a journal written by her great-great grand-mother in the summer of 1899. At the same time, Vivien becomes equally haunted by a woman she met in the middle-east, and who, despite the woman being hidden behind a burka, she became friends with until the woman is hunted down and rounded up just as much as the fox who scratches at Vivien's door, also seeking sanctuary. This is accompanied by the sumptuous film projections of Will Duke, who puts Wilson up hill, down dale and besides rocks and streams as disembodied chorales and noises from the natural world complete the picture. Beguilingly told, Wilson's story is a delicately woven yarn that's part ghost story, part purging and part emancipation as Vivien rediscovers her voice through the women who went before her in this quietest of call to arms imaginable.
The Herald, September 27th 2013 ends