Music and the Body - Symposium - Sonorities Festival 2012

The 

Two Thousand + TWELVE

<<< International symposium focusing on music and the body >>>  took place in SARC (the Sonic Arts Research Centre) at Queens University, Belfast on Saturday 24th March, 2012.  Running alongside the symposium was the annual week long Sonorities Festival of Contemporary Music, which again focused on the theme of music and the body.

Link:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sonorities/symposium.html

Music and the Body Symposium

I attended the symposium and attended some of the 'open fader' concerts that were held in the SARC center on the sat (23rd) and sun (24th) March.  It was an incredibly interesting and exciting two days, at the cutting edge of technology, performance, music and the body.  Perhaps it gave me a glimpse into the future. 

The idea that the body can emanate music through technology and to then use that body and in particular its inner workings to create musical material in a performance setting, is wondrous.  For me, it brings a mysterious element to the whole performance.  The speakers at the symposium all presented their way of accessing the inner workings of the body, the devices they build to transfer that information into musical material.  Even though the intervention is really very technological, its the ideas that were most fascinating.

Ben Knapp - The Ecosystem of Biosignal Interaction

Ben Knapp works with ways to measure emotion and empathy and that the data generated from these measurements drive the musical material.  He explained the artistic, engineering and scientific underpinnings of "the concept of an Integral Music Controller (a generic class of controllers that use the direct measurement of motion and emotion to augment traditional methods of musical instrument control" (

source

)

One performance video example he demonstrated of his performance with his Integral Music Controller was really fascinating.  The piece is called Stem Cells, with the music composed by Eric Lyon and Interaction Design and Performance by Ben Knapp.

As he sat on the stage and visibly displayed emotions and agitation and states of calm, which affected the data that was displayed on a projection screen beside him and affected the musical material.  Fascinating that the mysterious inner world of thought and emotion could provide such a variety of reactions that could be measured and used to control a music performance.   It is for the audience, like the 'invisible' controls the music.

Youtube Excerpt of Stem Cells Performance

Ben Knapp on body, signals, and energy

Ben Knapp on body, signals, and energy

from

STEIM Amsterdam

on

Vimeo

.

All papers were really integrated and followed similar and related themes.

Link:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sonorities/symposium.html

Open Fader Concerts

I went to the two Open Fader Concerts in SARC on the sat 23rd and sun 24th March, 2012.  Each concert was fascinating.  However, the two highlights for me were two performances that took place at the sunday concert, 

The Biomuse Concert

(full programme link:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sonorities/full-schedule.html

 )

BioMusic Concert (Sonic LAB: 1.10pm)

Miguel Ortiz - Dentro

Marco Donnarumma - Music for Flesh II

Conor Barry - BeatBack

Samson Young - I am thinking in a room

Miguel Ortiz - Dentro

was an brilliant and exhilirating performance, but all he did was sit on the stage, with subtle controllers attached, a darkened room, and the odd interjection of a video projection of the inner body on his torso.  Fully dressed in black, eyes closed for the full performance.

Miguel emanated a presence, a kind of expectation and performance presence, and yet all he did was sit on a stool with hands on knees, nearly in a meditative pose.  From these poses he performed himself and his inner emotions and physical body into states of calm, repose to states of agitation where you could see his shoulders move up and down.  He was generating these states himself, for an audience the changes were subtle but very perceivable and from these states, he was able to gather the data to generate musical material and wow how powerful that muscial material was as his states moved from calm to agititation, greatly helped by the power of the mutliple speakers  in the auditorium and the sheer physicality of some of the low frequencies, at times, I thought the cage that holds the sarc auditorium together might come apart, so powerful were the sounds.  Yet, Miguel was in the same pose.  This was one of the most thrilling performances I have seen in a long time and the potential for this, is immense.  The idea that ones inner bodies workings can emanate such sounds.

Website:

http://www.miguel-ortiz.com/

 I hope the Sonorities team put a video of this performance on the web soon and that this piece gets to have lots of performances, though Miguel looked visibily exhausted after the performance.

For details about the symposium, here is a link to follow:

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sonorities/symposium.html

Ben Knapp was the keynote speaker - and what a truly fascinating presentation he gave on his Music, Sensors, and Emotion research group work and performances. 

http://www.qub.ac.uk/sonorities/ben-knapp.html

Dumb Type Memorandum

"Dumb Type, the artists´ collective that was founded in 1987 in Kyoto is almost unparalleled in its fusion of the body and new media. Both artists and audience are transported to border zones of perception between life and death, inner and outer, image and reality. The group asks the question posed by many Performers in East Asia: is the body a projection space for social, economic and political processes which are written into every individual? Or is the body the last core of resistance of archaically anchored identity in a culture?"

Source: 

http://www.culturebase.net/artist.php?195

VISIT WEBSITE: 

http://dumbtype.com/works/memorandum

Youtube

Ballet triadico 1970

Reconstruction of Ballet Tradico from the Margarete Hastings sketches.

Part 1



Part 2


A very interesting website (in French) - an online research website of the work of Oskar Schlemmer at:
A really interesting seminar - Rerunning Ballet Tradico Seminar "the seminar is intended as a space for reflection on the creation stage, particularly on what some call "broad-ranging dance reconstruction" and that we are more interested in the processes that determine results, we have called "rerunning" a term that assumes more open as interpreter of anyone who wants to rerun a past stage work."
http://triadicos.wordpress.com/seminario-de-reejecucion/


Rod Maclachlan - Aftertime

Rod Maclachlan - live visuals for music performance

stunning, dramatic visuals

Aftertime ~ Roly Porter with Cynthia Miller. Visuals by Rod Maclachlan. Live at Faster Than Sound

from

Rod Maclachlan

on

Vimeo

.

"A edited excerpt from a live performance of Aftertime the debut album from Roly Porter (Vex'd) featuring Cynthia Miller on Ondes Martenot. Filmed at The Britten Studio, Snape Maltings as part of Faster Than Sound, 29/10/11. Visuals conjured live by Rod Maclachlan using cameras focused on plants, smoke, rotating coal along with sound reactive dust shaker and dark water contraptions. Video feedback created using video mixers."

vimeo description: 

http://vimeo.com/33337157

Troika Ranch - Loop Diver

View on Troika Ranch Vimeo Channel

loopdiver 2009

from

troika ranch

on

Vimeo

.

From Troika Ranch website

"The development of loopdiver began with a simple idea: to explore the concept of loops, a structure pervasive in culture since the popularization of the computer. We first created a 6-minute long performance that was complete in its own right, with movement, music, video and theatrical lighting; then, using a special software tool, we transformed a videotape of that performance into a 60-minute long choreographic 'score' from which we rigorously generated the live choreography. While the digital materials (video, sound, light) maintain the absolute precision and perfection of the computer, the learned choreography is necessarily imperfect due to human interpretation. When placed together on stage, we see the performers in a constant struggle to adapt to an externally imposed machine rhythm. loopdiver asks the viewer to join in on this simultaneously dreamlike and maddening journey as the performers attempt to escape their prisons of repetition. The meaning of the materials grows and changes as it appears again and again, ultimately challenging us to dive in a break free of our own repetitive and potentially destructive behavior."

source:

http://www.troikaranch.org/vid-loopDiver.html

Sofia Gubaidulina's "Seven Words" performed in Eurythmy

"Sofia Gubaidulina's "Seven Words" is a composition for cello, bayan, and strings based upon Christ's Seven Last Words on the Cross. This is a section of the composition performed in Eurythmy by the Goetheanum Stage Ensemble. For this beautiful film version, the camera work and editing were by Sam Russell with final production by Hagens Recording Studio. Note: this version presents the music and eurythmy of the original performance, without voice-over." source:

http://youtu.be/fY8h_D2GQqI

Youtube Embed

"Sofia Gubaidulina's "Seven Words" is a composition for cello, bayan, and strings based upon Christ's Seven Last Words on the Cross. This is a section of the composition performed in Eurythmy by the Goetheanum Stage Ensemble. For this beautiful film version, the camera work and editing were by Sam Russell with final production by Hagens Recording Studio. Note: this version presents the music and eurythmy of the original performance, without voice-over." source:

http://youtu.be/fY8h_D2GQqI