Christine Texeira on Getting the Right Mood

by Anca Szilagyi

ChristineTexeira (1)As we prepare for The Furnace Says Goodnight, Kyle Getz is interviewing Furnace contributors about their past performances. Next up is Christine Texeria! Please join us at Hollow Earth Radio on Friday, December 2 at 8 pm for a special collaborative performance and party. Without further ado:

KG: Your piece, “Immanent Ghosthood,” features a father and daughter playing Mortal Kombat together. Why was this the right game for your characters to play at this moment in their relationship and in your story?

CT: Elle, the character that I follow through many stories, is very young in “Immanent Ghosthood.” Elle’s relationship with her father is something that floats dimly through most of her life. His presence is more ghostly, not physical — really only present in memories of these younger moments. There is something aggressive in absence that I had trouble conveying in stories with an older Elle. So, I had to go back and really put the physical father on the page. I remembered playing Mortal Kombat at that age. I remembered the strange, terrified movements of the characters in the opening screens as you choose your fighter. It reminded me of that anxiety I knew the older Elle was feeling in her other stories. In some ways the two of them playing the game is too on the nose. But it’s all in the way Elle remembers it. It’s really an oblivious attempt at connection from her father, somehow kind. But as the narrator tells it, through Elle’s memory, it stretches and contorts to reflect their future relationship. I always feel a little meanness with this story. Like I’m trying to tell Elle something awful that she doesn’t need to know just yet.

KG: You mentioned before your reading that you learned sound editing to get the Mortal Kombat effects that played along with your work. What was the process like for you? Did you find any parallels to fiction editing?

CT: Doing the sound editing was an excited and frantic process. I can certainly find parallels to fiction writing. I had a vision of exactly what I wanted it to sound like in the end, then proceeded to fail immensely at reaching that goal. Over and over. Layering and stripping sounds, all trying to get to the right mood. I imagine this first experience with sound editing is similar to my first attempt at writing a story. It was what it was but I look back on it with immense confusion. Where did that come from?