In a video of a live performance at Shanghai’s Rockbund Museum, sound and performance artist Pan Daijing crawls toward a mess of gear, her head masked by a tight black covering, a chain linking her arms together. She is at once restrained and powerful, supplicating and menacing. These dynamics course through her recent work, “The Executioner’s Song,” a primordial rumble laced through with trembling drones. The piece feels channelled, pulled from the universe through the sieve of Daijing’s subjectivity. In an interview with Red Bull Music Academy, she emphasizes the importance of “presenting sound that already exists in nature and machine, that’s bigger than me,” which she describes as a form of sacrifice. In this sense, the title of “The Executioner’s Song” could describe Daijing’s process, the ultimate giving over of self to another force.
“The Executioner’s Song” can be streamed below or via Pan Daijing’s SoundCloud.