Ancient Chinese Secret is a sonic performance piece that exploits the inflated mystery of unseen goings-on: the sounds of a solemn ritual emerging from odd and meaningless tasks given to the performers. The details on the paper cannot be seen by the audience, and the sounds produced are only indirectly related to the main task of the performers, which is to solve a Sudoku puzzle. This is a study in meaninglessness, set up in a way that each viewer’s imagination might suggest different meanings for the actions and sounds of the performers. In recorded or radio performance, the mystery is heightened because the performers cannot be seen, making the sound seem even more ancient, Chinese, and secret (although they may not be any of these things).
A demo performance by the composer: