The Jug Choir

The Jug Choir explores the materiality of object and sound drawing on a rich history of jugs being used as musical instruments, from country blues jug bands to the psychedelic rock of the 13th Floor Elevators. Each ceramic vessel bears the face of a bearded man, referencing Bellermine Jugs of the 16th century that were used as common household objects. During the Witch Hunts of the 17th Century these jugs were transformed into 'Witches Bottles', a form of sympathetic magic used to ward off evil. A kind of voodoo ensued as the body of the male vessel was filled with urine, bent nails and votive cloth hearts, hoping to cause pain to any ‘witch’ that posed a threat. The Jug Choir uses the 'Witches Bottles' as a vehicle to explore notions of gender and hysteria through the lens of war. This insurgent army’s sonic journey considers how ritual is embedded in acts of violence.