Total Man (2013)

A short solo performance written and performed by Hannah Silva, Total Man was one of four new works commissioned for Electronic Voice Phenomena : an experimental literature, performance and music show that feeds on the corpse of paranormal pseudo-science.

Silva’s innovative performance piece drives language down the lost highway of a struggle to understand the origins of humankind.

Shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award 2013.

In 1972 Stan Gooch published The Total Man, notes towards an evolutionary theory of personality. This extensive volume spans magic, religion, politics, art, morality and justice. As well as his preoccupation with Neanderthal man and left-handedness, Gooch posits that Labour MPs have larger ears than Conservatives, and better night vision. In Silva’s extraordinary and intense work, performed eight times on the EVP tour (in total blackout), she channels Gooch’s words through a musical layering of speech, sound, automatic writing, quotations and virtuosic vocal play.

Total Man … shows Hannah’s capacity to work easily with thoughts about sound through sound itself, as she generates her new music with its fresh echoes. Denise Riley

Performance history 2013 – 2014

10 May The Sage Gateshead

15 May St George’s Hall, Liverpool

17 May The Basement, Brighton

18 May Rich Mix, London

19 May, The Cube, Bristol

22 May, Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester

23 May Arc Stockton

25 May Norwich Arts Centre

7 June: Urban Poetry, Latvia

25 September 2013 Bournemouth Arts Festival

Spring 2014: Curtain Call Festival, Avignon


Produced by Mercy and Penned in the Margins. Supported by the Arts Council England.