The main request of the residency was to ‘BE’. A paramount condition in order to let ideas flow in total freedom. There was no obligation of outcomes. Ideas (at least for me) appeared in diverse situations, such as discussion during trails or while having a coffee in the kitchen. I worked mainly on the followings projects:
- Soundwalks during the open house of the residency: The participants were free to speak, but all of them stayed silent during the 30 minutes trail. Another interesting aspect was the discussion following the trail: Two groups, which attended the walks mentioned self awareness in relation to listening to their own bodily sounds. Moreover, they both started a discussion about the importance of music in neurodegenerative diseases, although I only proposed to listen to the environmental sound and never mentioned music, apart the fact I introduced my self as a composer;
- During a discussion with Guillermo Munoz, a physicist, after a dinner, who was looking for ways to develop a periodic table for nano particules, I suggested to investigate a fourth dimension. http://leonardo.info/blogs/nano-table/;
- A sculpture in a tree, as a deprivation (of sound) chamber, to be installed in the coming week in the trails, in collaboration with Christine Lee;
- Bodyscape, a composition based on biological and sonic information of the body of a dancer, I developed the strategies while in residency. It was then developed as a work in progress at the Lab Gallery in San Francisco from July 30, and premiered on August 4.
The piece is a work in progress that changed during its five-day installation at The Lab gallery in San Francisco, where it was performed along with musician Cheryl Leonard and dancer Crystal Sepulveda. The main idea was to focus on the body of a dancer as the main sonic source. The information was taken via biosensors and microphones, which recorded movement of and events generated by the body. In this ecosystem, where the dancer produces sounds, mainly inaudible, we as composer and musician amplified and send them back to the performance space, where the dancer interacted with them as biofeedback. A member of the audience mentioned at some point that it was difficult to know who was producing what. In a sense it was an accomplishment, because I didn’t want to have sound responding to a precise event or gesture, but instead a (organized) chaos in which we tried to discover the rules.
The performance is site-specific and a work in progress. It means that each time we will perform in a new place, debate new ideas and progress on the base of the knowledge acquired in the precedent performance. The site-specificity of the work relates to the spatial considerations of the performance space (e.g. size, resonance, reverberation, sound system equipment, luminosity). The improvisation relies on the set of rules we define between the performers and that will be improvised. The biofeedback is an interaction between the movement of the dancer, the performance space, the sound and the other performers. Thus, it is an ecosystem that is created and on the base of which all the performers react and interact. Therefore, the improvisation part is also linked to the reactions of each other.
The piece will be developed again in the coming months and presented early in 2016 at The Friedrich Dürrenmatt Museum in Switzerland.
Pictures taken during the performance: https://www.flickr.com/photos/swissnexsanfrancisco/sets/72157656413117579