Project Description

Julie Tolentino – You give rise and help me see that motionless presence vibrates hard …”

One of ten scores created especially for the  presidential election in the USA on November, the 3rd 2020.

This is a multiple score:
1. An intergenerational shared text read back to oneself in the form of a recording created across time and haunted by generations
2. One’s own voice to guide the focus of the sensation of pressure and then
3. We unfurl the accumulated hidden tensions, using the pressure point as a scaffold.

The score is recorded by participant and played back “to themselves”.
Each participant will create a self-recording using the text below.
They will have this ready (and thus, become familiar with the text) prior to performing the score.

Then, waking before dawn, with the recorded playback of participant’s voice, the participant explores the physical score   in bed.


A simple voice recorder and one’s voice.
NOTE to participant: “Your own voice will guide you using words traveled into me inspired by my and others’ practices and memory.”


Participant’s (naked) body in bed in the night – or early morning pre-dawn hour.

Set a very soft alarm for late night, early morning, or pre-dawn.
Participant may want to put aside their pillow unless need or prefer support under the neck.


1. Please read the following (silently) from me to you:

  • what is the thin kinship line between inner world and the outer Other future?
  • this small practice listens for accumulated ancestral knowledge slipping into your body as multiple and changing as we look for new worlds and language.
  • how might we discover more space for understanding and collectivity when “starting from the body”
  • what is an offering in hope that we never take any bodies for granted, including our own
  • by breaking with racialized, gendered, and colonial histories, this miniature practice starts with examining force
  • can we promise not to strive / not to conquer / nor trace nor track nor sequence our movements

    But, for this moment, instead fall back into the night, into the creases and plateaus of expansion, tension, undoing capture
  • this aims to simplify our approach to waking up with the collective history of our body, not merely as an assumed sense of self
  • this welcomes the complexity of abolitionist and decolonized practices
    & is freeing from the clutches of anxiety and cruelty lingering, festering, hiding within our bodies
  • we press into and back towards ourselves towards the crux of discovery & its pleasure and ache
  • once a place is found, we will seek out pressure
  • a single point of pressure (we find many of them)
  • a place for and within our Self in which we may scaffold and expand from without striving

In this, three movement modes will arise:
             First a SPINE MOVES END TO END familiar
             Second is experiments with PRESSURE
             Third, we apply TOUCH as PRESSURE AKA PLEASURE

This is best explored laying in your bed
In the quiet darkness

THEN, with recorder in-hand, you will hit record, and then read the entire following text out loud into the recorder.

2. Please read softly and slowly at a guiding pace for yourself into your recording device:

“Part One

I am laying on my back
I observe the fortune of this slow thought under the covers and feel the sheets beneath me, weighed by me.

My knees bend upright
Here are my “standing” thighs,
knees touching and feet “standing” slightly apart,
wide or wider than my hips.

My footprint’s ever-light touch is observed on the sheet.

What else touches?

The back of my pelvis, my lower belly rises and falls with the sacrum making small impressions.
My breath moves my pelvis on the bed below me.

One side or other of my pelvis feels heavier or larger.
Nothing to change –
just breathing from footprint to pelvis,
back of body moving more or less with breathing.

I notice the spine,
in my inner eye,
my inner sight,
“sees” inside.
The eye that “feels” inside.

It snakes, that is the spine.
The spine snakes and in my mind I note how ribs rise and fall, shoulders lighten and become heavy in a similar “rise and fall”.

My neck eases as the spine transits behind the breastbone and the throat.
The shoulder blades softly land on the bed, too.
I swallow and move my jaw just a bit, only to rest easier.

It seems my cheeks ease in the space below the cheekbones.
My ears soften and ease.
Some space opens.
I ever slightly open my mouth,
parting my lips in order to mouth-breathe or sigh,
along with this score – as I please.

I allow my mouth to fall open,
my lips to move apart with the space of an opening,
an exchange place.

Here I am, myself feeling as whole – or perhaps merely just part of this body.
I am, however, also who I am with others – even in this seemingly private world.
The space teems with time passing forward and back,
memory and thought flow around each shift and location.

I am still feeling the locations along the backside,
the frontside,
and sides of myself.

I am haunted by parts of myself I know are there, but I cannot sense.
I know there is more to me that what I can see/feel.
I know that I am not fully alone, too, in this body.

I begin with this move:

Pelvis tilts towards the creases of my legs,
belly easy,
a curving that begins with a small,
very small pressure,
downwards towards the bed.

I press and the backside of my ass rolls onto the very bottom of my pelvis,
where the sitz bones are.

The bones that peek out at the bottom of my body when I sit on a chair.
With this rolling onto those bones,
my back arches but I keep focused on the touch and rock of the pelvis on the bed,
pressing down,
using the backside,
not the movement of arching up.

As soon as I come to the end of this pelvis pressure towards the sitz bones, I follow that path backward and roll the surface back.
Back onto the flat of my pelvis,
where I began.

With slight pressure applied to my feet, I allow the top of my pelvis to now roll and press against the bed but this time, moving upward towards my waist.
Focus is kept easy,
not forced on the pelvis,
and its flat part, the sacrum, rolling up onto the back towards the waist.

I keep breathing,
lips parted,
in this slow exploration, on how to touch the bones of the spine in the lower back.

Imagining just the spine with the help of my footprints – the footprints easily and evenly press into the bed – easily and evenly.
It is to steady myself.
My spine is activated and slowly moves up the waist,
the lower back and begins to transition to lower middle back,
middle-middle lower back,
and I breathe with lips parted.

I keep moving along very slowly and breath to ease my underarms and chest,
as the spine pushes and presses down between the shoulder blades now into the bed,
with lips parted and breath escaping sometimes inward,
and sometimes outward.

These are more like sighs.

Moving from middle of the shoulder blades to the upper back,
a deeper sigh with lips parted opens and allows a renewed pressure of the spine’s movement towards the bed to transfer into the lower neck under the skull,
as lips ease and breath escapes,
the mouth opens to let the jaw fall into itself,
opened and easy.

The spine presses down along the back of the head, feeling the skull itself press behind the ear into the bed and behind the eye sockets now into the bed,
chin is lifting as a result with the mouth open with parted lips to accommodate the reach as far up to the top of the head a kind of pathway to top of the skull – a pathway that is easy and does not push,
just the back of the skull taking a ride of pressure,
with pleasure.

Once there,
at the comfortable top, I will trace that just as slowly,
or slower even,
back down that path.

The lips stay parted and a light effort of pressing spine bone by spine bone contorts a bit and offers palpable space for me to observe,

I will move through this up and down motion three times, each time testing the pressure for articulation and also,
for ease.

At first I might notice my contortions or contractions, the way that other body parts want to come for the ride or the way that places hold on even if I have moved on,
moved past,
moved away from them.
Slowly in my progressions up and down, I will find, I will find that I can apply pressure without contortions and instead like a soft yet still very slow articulated crawling with my own spine,
a three-dimensional boney muscular and mouth parted lips easy pathway along the boney spine skull shoulder girdle shoulder blades rib bones
and deep spiny parts
and hip bones
and sacrum flatness above the ass crack that tilts all the way to my lower sitting bones or bottom of the pelvis
so I feel my pubic bone tilting to the back
and other pressures being taken up in the my upper body.

I become a kind of musical instrument
or voice running in and out of time — moving along the soft bed below my soft face and mouth with parted lips.

After doing this for 3 to 5 times, I will rest for five long inhaling and exhaling breaths.

No pressure.
No path.
Just resting.

Here is
          • ONE (in and out)
          • TWO (in and out)
          • THREE (in and out)
          • FOUR (in and out)
          • FIVE (in and out)

Part Two:

I will now choose a place to press into
I will now choose a place to press into on the back side of body.

I could start with the back of my pelvis, the flat area on the back above the ass crack.
I press that down, slowly onto the bed.
I feel, while I press, that things are shifting – in my own body,
in the ways that it wants to help me,
prepare me,
scare me,
protect me,
indulge me.

One or all of those things.
I continue, allowing for changing thoughts and for time so I watch and feel.

This takes time, this pressing, it is slow, and I might want to rush.

This takes time and I might want to savor or run or ride or breath.

I continue with lips parted staying both focused on the pressing point
and allowing myself to feel what occurs,
what moves,
what I approach in terms of pleasure
or restriction.

I am not pushing beyond as a sign to myself, I am finding myself focused on the pressure, and the pressing point and I go to a comfortable place and just merely stop.
Not quite freeze,
but stop the pressing,
or rather press til JUST HERE.

Leaving everything where it lays.
Or where it is suspended.

Now the observation begins.

Where have I frozen,
what is holding, and what would happen if I – ever so slightly – began to unlatch those holds, ease into those grips,
breath into that held space WHILE STILL maintaining the pressure?

So the pressure point stays.
How can I enjoy the spot of pressure and the untangling or undoing of the holds in the hip creases or other locations that have accumulated pressure?
I might need to swirl through the body to find what has accumulated.
What if I just allow one spot of pressure to support my body’s position and unfurl the rest of the parts – and they are varied for all of us,
is it my upper neck and shoulders
or underarms
or belly
or limb creases
or what about the holding in the lungs,
the fingers,
the jaw.

And how does it feel then to slowly let those unfurl – while maintaining the single place of pressure.

All of that as long as I need to is unfurling,
and then,
I return to the point of pressure,
and let everything rest.

Then I continue – in this case, perhaps, my left foot.
I will start pressing my footprint into the floor

– but very very slowly so I may observe what this does to my overall body,
my leg,
shoulder, etc .
With the pressure in place, I scan the rest of my body for what I can disengage – how I can move into another future without this grip and how the pressure might engender more space, more time.

I explore this in the space of silence (i.e. turn off the recorder for a moment to explore both feet or different points such as pressing the shoulder blade into the bed this time.
Or the back of the head?
Or a few ribs on one side.
A thigh bone.
Take my time, I remind myself.
In the silence,
I am seeking with and along various points of pressure using the bed and one point on your body.

With these movements of pressure that I land on, I feel myself unfurl from whatever is not needed and ….

I am about to turn off the recording for a moment to do this exploration but I want to remind myself that
       • This is the study of pressure and accumulation.
          This one pressured point is where I feel for the pressing – or the pressure.
          I repeat, I feel for the pressing and what it does to the rest of me.
          I do not enhance what it does, I observe and then hold that pressing –
          I hold the body in the position it is in because of the pressing and unfurl the rest from there.

        • So now, self: Turn the recorder off
        • &
        • Turn recorder back on for Part Three.

Part Three

I am laying on my side with my head leaning on my arm or hand.
I will explore again this exploration of pressure or in this case pressing –
using hands,
muscle with and against my own body.

I feel for what is pressing into what – and clearly about that –
so I may focus on that feeling of what is pressing into what,
what is touching what,
and I then begin to unfold all the other accumulations
and engagements that have begun to take place.

There is more moving now.
Still slow, but with this knowledge of hidden or not so hidden accumulations.
And now, adding the sense of touch.
Its response.
I allow the touch to remain in place as I breathe with lips parted and move from place to place,
touching and feeling,
allowing the accumulations and engagements to unfurl while the touch pressure remains.

Somewhere here there is pleasure?
In this part, I am seeking the unfurling instead of “moving into or with the pressure” as a way to allow the pressure to be a scaffold for body,
for my sense of feeling and recognition,
as ways to fall away yet not collapse,
yet still,
undoing some of the accumulation.

This may allow me to lead to a feeling of spreading or just a sense of more.
I am allowing each of the pressured touch spots to lead me into how I can “undo” extra pressure.

Am I feeling a spread?

Is that a word that resonates for me?
Are the feelings of spreading inspiring other “undoings” or “disengaging-s” or voices in the room?

With lips slightly parted: Sigh.
Feel touch pressure undoing, shifting.


I find myself taking time to settle into the “more space” space, or a kind of easy newness for the world that we are now beginning to share and to wake up to.

This touch is morphing, I am making it my own.
I use whole parts and rest pressure against pressure along the surfaces of my body
and its shapes
and curves
and holes
and softness-es and sharpness –
some which are mine,

I can squeeze using elbows or touch using palms or my heel or move skull or chin against other bones…
From there, I am also pausing, breathing and remembering to give myself a chance to take apart other accumulations,
deepen the folds,
seek more feels,
more presence.

Here I am, Self.

I may be the only one who knows the density of these opaque barely-there movements and that time is traveling through me and others’ experiences are travelling with these accumulations and within these engagements.
I am amongst kin and friends and familiars and those who have treaded the topographies of these lands and waters and bodies through time.
I give rise to these pasts and this offering is for another’s future – of all of us to come.

I might rest now or choose to get up and move.
Perhaps differently, with a different reach towards and accompanied by others.”

Keywords for

“You give rise and help me see that motionless presence vibrates hard
(touch/no touch) (now or then) (dead or alive) (out of time with time)
that we hold these temporal galaxies with salty refusal,
a kind of full body pleasure,
floating and submerging,
falling on and off the tongue from where your inner-meets-outer lion’s face
& an in-the-dark queer embrace.
This space / our words are under pressure.
To incoming intergenerational pleasure as reminder in dark times that there is a so much in oneself to give. ”

1. Accumulation
2. Engagement
3. Disengaging
4. Lips slightly part
5. Sigh
6. Pressure
7. Pause
8. Pause to expand where accumulation has begun
9. Accumulation may be small tensions or expressions or where holding occurs
10. Pls don’t let go towards collapse but instead fall away from accumulation spot
11. Let an accumulation spot “undo”
12. Feel a spread
13. Find a spreading to inspire other “spreadings” or “undoings” or “disengaging-s”
14. Lips slightly part
15. Sigh
16. Pressure
17. Pause
18. Come into the “more space” space
19. Touch for the world not yet here is to traverse along lines of familiar and found pressure/pleasure
20. Ways to live and feel with each other through the erotic

This score is infused by the Oct 2020 Blue Moon as it hovers in space near Mars on the auspicious yearly night that welcomes the thin veil between the living and the dead. Shared from the opportunistic Southwestern Mohave desert and C-19’s isolations, it is boosted by an extra hour of darkness offered by the return to Standard Time in the West. “You give rise…” anticipates fierce collective expanse beyond the Nov 3 vote into action that calls for mutual aid, abolition, anti-xenophobia and open borders.

Julie Tolentino
Joshua Tree, California
3 November 2020

Commissioned by PACT Zollverein
and 1000 Scores