The Longest Handshake

Posted on June 23, 2014 by alex mayor

Here’s The Longest Handshake – a video-art/social-happening  conceived and organised by Claire Flannery and a team of other interesting people, that took place in June 2013 in Skerries, Ireland. As a nice side-project I composed music for the piece, using piano, guitar and harmonium – taking two chords as the basis, echoing the idea of two hands interacting. Finger sounds recorded on a table top add a little percussion and rhythm.

From the original event notes:
“The act of shaking hands is a performance. Humans alone perform this act, frequently and often on a daily basis. The context defines the intensity and weight placed upon this single gesture that joins two bodies together in a physical bond. It is a performance we enact to demonstrate genuine interest, commonality, shared integrity and is generally servant to a social occasion or contractual agreement. In ‘The Longest Handshake’ this act is isolated and performed by up to one hundred people simultaneously.

On a vast beach, two long lines of people will be facing each other, and moving from a considerable distance, will slowly walk towards a central point in a choreographic gesture of approximation. The performance will culminate in a collective handshake of people that may know or not know each other, an act that expressly magnifies our awareness and aims to realise its poetic potential…