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Final Score as of April 8, 2021
Below is a sketch explaining this set-up idea: 4 speakers on a white dance floor, mixing desk, laptop, microphone and stand, mini projector, 1-2 hanging projectors. I've tried out my sounds on 2 active speakers lying on the floor and attempted to pan tracks to one or the other side. This didn't yet work with Reaper, although it must be possible! I would like the audience to sit on mats around the speakers, the mixing desk with my laptop outside of the them and the microphone moveable (depending on feedback with the speakers).
I'd like to compose a soundtrack for the duration of the performance; the sound is the parameter of time as well as space. I would compose a long 30-40 minute piece, including a section of silence, that I can play from Reaper. Because I won't have much time in the theater before the performance (3-4 hours), I will keep the sounds in Reaper so that I can adjust the volume and pan levels easily and quickly, instead of rendering it all to one track. I also like to see the waves on the tracks to see what and when a sound is coming. I would start with ambient, outside sounds as the audience enters, which slowly become mixed with fx. Towards the middle of the performance (possibly after my vocal speaking in the mic) I would play loud, and mixed frequencies of sounds coming from all 4 speakers. I can imagine this part to crescendo as the lights fade out, so the sounds are fullest in the dark. The end would be purely digital sounds as the audience exits.
The projected images of zoomed-in encounters between my body and different plant's bodies would be added in the first half, one after the other. The final projection is the smallest one coming from the mini projector. An idea would be to have a scene when all projections play simultaneously either in silence or with a low volume sound. The mini projector could come in again at the end, showing a single plant or tuft of grass.
Since January, I've been working with a musician on an idea he had, about improvising with the sounds of my movement, which he then alters and plays with before sending them back to me. I'm wondering now if this work might overlap the work I have been doing alone until now. I could imagine this live, very digitalized touch (with a body that is unseen- the musician's) as an ending to the performance, in strong contrast to the natural ambient sounds at the beginning. With him, I can play with fragmenting words live and have it become its own song. The technological feasibility would need some sorting out, because our meeting takes place over Zoom or Sonobus. Because my whole Master's experience until now has been very much about me learning and doing things on my own, I'm not sure if this is the right thing to add to my final performance. The timing of this work with the musician seems, however, like a happy coincidence...
Below is a rough structure of the sound and space.
Ambient / outside / nature sounds as audience enters.
I (possibly) speak, "once upon a time..." in the space, without mic...?
dying elm with pitch
Projections appear, one after the other
play with mini projector
8. Sounds stay, I leave, audience leaves. END
Vocal improv/rap with "I don't know...." in microphone, then in space (live voice)
Sounds from Story continue plus more sounds, FULL and LOUD
7. Live sounds with Daniel...?? (starting at 10min)
STAGE IS BLACK
6. Just live voice in space, no microphone: text from interior voice.
What is still needed:
More images/video material of zoomed-in encounters of my body touching different plants, specifically a blackberry bush and its thorns, since those sounds are prominent in the soundtrack. I'd like to look for ways of physically touching that do not make (audible sounds): silent touch. I need to gather more sounds of softer, longer touches as well as more ambient sounds (with vocal reflections in the landscape). I also need to figure out how to pan, having some tracks only in the 2 left speakers, and others only in the 2 right.
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