created + led by alexa dexa
soak is an accessibility-centered, virtual, and immersive electroacoustic toy opera by a sick + mad + disabled non-binary femme soaking in a bathtub co-created with and for sick + mad + disabled folx in bathtubs/shower chairs/wash basins/sponge baths/kiddie pools/foot tubs/areas of cozy and enveloping rest and ease/in, with, or near any body of water big or very small (an ocean/lake/river/rain, snow, steam, or ice/glass of water/our own bodies), real or imagined (because who is the arbiter of what is real anyway?).
soak is a crip ritual for nourishing our sick + mad + disabled bodyminds, for sinking into ease and effortlessness, for soaking until the ache dissipates into lull.
A small journey in a small space where the expanse is within you, the story is yours. A bath journey that moves beyond cure to ask what would feel healing for you, for right now?
American Sign Language + song-signing, live captioning, creative captioning, audio description, sound description, and access doulas in a live online setting.
soak is composed for a sick crip soaking in a bathtub filling, filled with, and drained of water and epsom salts; vocals; live and pre-recorded electronic processing in alexa dexa’s dream patch in MaxMSP; pre-programmed electronic sequences crafted by alexa in Reason; and alexa dexa’s toychestra (toy piano, toy chimes, toy harp, alto xylophone, toy glockenspiel, desk bells, kalimba) in collaboration with the sounds of you and your body of water.
10 min introduction
55 min performance
45 min intermission
55 min decompression/afterparty
Total duration: 2 hours and 45 minutes
There are two main interdependent components to soak:
The first is a live performance by alexa dexa soaking in a bathtub, leading the audience through a bath ritual that alexa centers their days around for weathering a flare of their chronic illness. This includes singing a libretto that serves as an incantation to shift through grief, exhaustion, and pain to melt into an expectationless expanse of ease, if only for now, a reprieve. The live performance takes place over Zoom. Spotlighted in Zoom is a live video of alexa in the bath, a video of rainbow-reflection waters rippling in the sunlight with creative captioning, and a live video of ASL interpretation.
The second is a score for the audience, who actively shape the sound world of soak through their own experience of soaking, right along with alexa. (These sounds are local to each audience member and are not shared with the group.) The score shares basic ritual instructions for drawing a bath (or otherwise locating yourself in relation to water however that may be accessible for you), submerging, soaking, re-emerging, and draining the ache away. Participant agency and trust that you know what’s best for your body are central to the score.