Online Review: Breaking Up With Reality
“Reality abandoned all of us. This is an exploration of our break up with our past,
And the new relationship we have with our future.”
- Eden Harbud
Premiered at Living Record Festival 2021
Available until 22nd February 2021
“A love letter to reality.” What would that sound like?
We needn't search further than Nod At The Fox’s production of Breaking Up With Reality. Not only does this audio drama give us a sense of what it would sound like, but also the soothing soundscapes and intense narration allow us to know what it would feel like, look like and be like. This is a short and sweet escape from the doom and gloom of the world in its current state: a beautifully narrated meditation of lockdown thoughts.
"A beautifully narrated meditation of lockdown thoughts"
Breaking Up With Reality is a train of thought, a stream of consciousness, and a conversation with the self, all sewn together by the clever concept of the narrator breaking up with reality as if ‘Reality’ were a partner, lover or friend. 'Reality' leaves, needs some space, doesn't reply to text messages, and abandons the narrator to cope with a gaping hole of loneliness.
We listen on as the narrator guides us through their coping mechanisms: making tea, folding paper, and finding solace in a “find a temporary reality rabbit” on a bookshelf. It is a charming story in itself, but at its core it highlights the huge impact of social isolation.
"It is a charming story in itself, but at its core it highlights the huge impact of social isolation."
The new pandemic-themed linguistic terms we are all so accustomed to, such as new normal, unprecedented and isolation, are routinely overused in pieces discussing the effect of lockdown. However, Harbud manages to blend these concepts into the narrative in a new, creative manner. Breaking Up With Reality hits a truth I didn’t know existed: we all parted with our versions of reality in March 2020 and have had questionable relationships with them since.
At one point, the narrator meets back up with ‘Reality’ and greets them with an elbow bump, which, Harbud points out, is an unsatisfactory substitute for a hug. In fact, it is the part of the body that “famously has no feeling” (Breaking Up With Reality) and yet it is all that 'Reality' has left us.
With so much digital art out there in the void of the internet right now, it is challenging to circle one piece out, but this production is worth it to feel less alone with our pandemic-induced insanity. The simplicity of approach and natural manner in which the music and words blend together is a testament to Eden Harbud. If you have a spare half-hour, allow yourself the time with this safe and secluded audio experience to confront the alarming times in which we live.
Text, music, sound recordings & read by Eden Harbud.
With segments of music from:
Dominic Roocroft, Ross Williams, Sam Williams, Daria Feldman, Daniil Timofeev & Dmitriy Stoyan.
Supported by Arts Council England
Nod At The Fox combines spoken word, recorded soundscapes and music to create an
audio love letter to Reality. It’s hard having to only greet Reality with an elbow bop, but if
we get any closer it will break our hearts all over again.