pre-residency research 5 – gesture/sound

I have been working on LDRs (Light Dependant Resistors) for a little while, using it to research a connection between our own gestures and the sounds we might hear. I tend to look towards tiny gestures like tense muscles relaxing (how does that affect the sound?) and how can I magnify this, and make it interesting.

Some simple senses of using my own gestures through playing the cello:

1) I implicitly understand (subconsciously or effortlessly) how to play the instrument

2) It has biased historical connection/recognition to sounds made – simply through the centuries of music written for the instrument

3) The cello is very versatile

4) To showcase gestures off the instrument, I need to simplify the movements (accorded to how i want to sound) and re-apply techniques that only apply to one element, as opposed to multiple elements (making effort to signify singular elements that are generally combined to make larger gestural movements). This visualises a simplicity that perhaps is necessary for the audience to latch on to when dealing with recognition of sounds being made, especially in this project of magnifying the minute details.

In the case of magnifying detailed gestures, I have been making use of videowork of my own playing to identify more easily the section of gestures that I effectively want to use.  LDRs are then pinpointed at certain sections where I think musically has greatest effect.

Through the sensorial world of DIY attitudes, accuracy is something i wish not to be implicit about, as I want more ‘reveal’ or exposure to a connectivity, or ‘other-worldliness’ to the relationship of sound and gestures. Indeed, as opposed to a scientific approach (although both is good). However, when looking at computer programming, the accuracy of calibration must be present at all times.

For the purposes of this residency I want to add a visual element as well as audio, to make a more complete picture of a response.

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Fig.1 Mini three-layered frame showing sensors that detect light from the beam of the projector projecting the video that i want to use.


Fig.2 Stills of gestural detail used in video

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Fig.3 What it looks like at the Piper Gallery

A sample of what I have been doing with gesture/sound:

‘…a continous present’ (2017) – a short audio-visual montage with visuals taken from my 30-minute composition (of the same name) performed at the finals of my Masters in Music course, at the Institute of Sonology, Den Haag in June 2016. The audio was composed from a newer collection of sounds that developed after the Sonology performance. My intention was to reduce the larger set-up towards a solo capability. I use my voice here, manipulated in MaxMSP via external controller DIY instruments that use sensors and contact mics.