As I’ve mentioned in some previous articles, I have been working on a multi-media dance collaboration, Words to Dead Lips, with Annichia Arts since last December that has finally come to a close. We staged three performances at Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis this weekend to a mostly full house. My part in the collaborative effort was to produce the music, and I was given an open mandate to do so. As is my preference, I opted to perform the work to the dance and projected imagery, rather than submit pre-recorded material. Although I adhered to an agreed framework for the soundscape, the improvisational nature of this approach made every performance unique.
The main tool that I used to generate the sound was my Max for Live patch, Grain Machine that explores granular synthesis via a multi-touch controller. I loaded it with five samples including Snow Melting into Lake Superior, One Hundred Sounds in Eight Seconds, High and Low Frequency Drone, and a couple of others for the piece.
Another component to the sonic environment was the noise shield. This device, that I built into saucer sleds, was used by the dancers to synthesize sounds using body contacts and a light dependent resistor. Here’s a five minute excerpt of audio from the closing night’s performance.
WTDL Closing Night Excerpt