WHAT THE...YOU MEAN?is a sound collage and live performance first devised by Omari Soulfinger while in residency at On Air Fest, a Brooklyn-based celebration of the creative possibilities of sound. The piece satirically explores the absurdity and oppressive nature of social norms by blending live silent comedy and clowning with recordings of phone conversations and street interviews from over 30 diverse voices.
The performance of WHAT THE...YOU MEAN? is an immersive experience, where the audience is invited to tune into the cacophony coming from the artist’s surreal boombox. Through sound associative vignettes, Soulfinger conducts poetic practical jokes on audience members, interacts with pre-recorded narration/voiceover and physically reimagines music. The seemingly non-linear narrative is driven by the turning of the radio dial, scanning the noisy frequencies of interpersonal dynamics in a context of inequities featuring vulnerable confessions, unpopular opinions, faux-pas, microaggressions, and the paradoxes of privilege.
WHAT THE...YOU MEAN? remains lighthearted and self-aware, aiming to resonate with cynics, neurotics, and the marginalized. The performance sounds like a warm staticky FM radio scan, looks like an absurdist flea market, and feels like bathroom graffiti in a dive bar for people at the nexus of wanting to belong and wanting to be free.