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Short performance with drums, electronics, dance and sensors as a part of an event

June 8, 2012

Jonas Barsten Johnsen & Hedvig Bang. Photo: Helena Tusvik Rosenlund

What:

An analysis and discussion of our first public performance with “Sound Picking”.

Why:

We want to become more aware of how we work and perform.

How:

We will analyze a video of the performance and discuss some thoughts we had regarding the performance.

——–

Preface:

The 20th of April we were hired to perform during an event at the Norwegian museum of technology. They were handing out awards to some outstanding young scientists and we were lucky enough to entertain them for some minutes during the event.

Structure:

As this performance were to last only for 5 minutes, we decided to do some planing and not freely improvise the whole performance. I feel that if a piece is completely improvised, it should last longer to let the audience and the performers establish a shared space.

Based on previous rehearsals, we decided on two parts:

  • One slow and massive.
  • One rapid and in time.

The cue to change part was to be a single stroke at the crash cymbal.

We also decided on doing a fixed trading part after this, consisting of the following:

After this, I where to do 8 bars of “solo”, then Hedvig would “pick up” my last beats with the sensors and finish the piece her self.

As you can see beneath, it didn’t go quite as planned, but nevertheless it was a good experience.

Sensors:

Right hand:

  • Touch sensor in palm that repeats the last sound when pressed.
  • Gyroscope on wrist that sets the speed of the repeated sound.

Video:

Analyzis:

We sat down a month after the performance and analyzed the video together. The reason we waited is that we wanted to see the performance with a clear mind, not affected by recently having performed it. I feel that the objectivity and the acceptance for error in the analysis is greater this way.

  • Jonas: I take too long before I start. Even though it was kind of a gimmick to sample me slurping, it turned out to be quite awkward.
  • Jonas: When we start, I feel it is nice and clear.
  • Hedvig: Agree.
  • Jonas: Until 01:34, I like the development of the piece.
  • Hedvig: I feel we are on the same wavelength, the more clear the sounds are the easier it is to use the sensors, and I feel that we managed this here.
  • Jonas: 01:34 – 01:46 I feel the intensity dropped, mainly due to quiet reverb being looped by Hedvig and no drum sound coming trough.
  • Hedvig and Jonas: 02:04 – 02:45 Nice trading part, though Hedvig rushes trough and doesn’t give Jonas enough space.
  • Jonas: 02:45 I like the sudden contrast between rapid and slow.
  • Hedvig: 02:45 – 3:32 I feel I don’t give Jonas enough time to establish his new space because I use the sensors too much.
  • Jonas: 03:47 – 03:55 Awkward moment musically. Too fragile sounds.
  • Jonas: 03:55 – 05:35 Overall a nice part, I feel we manage to keep it interesting, but the usage of the sensors should maybe be more subtle. I like Hedvig’s repetitive movements that occur from time to time in this part.
  • Hedvig: It is challenging to focus on the usage of the sensors when I get caught up in the music. I see that I tend to forget the sensors.
  • Hedvig: 05:35 – 06:19 this part emphasizes the fact that this was our first performance and I found it challenging to focus on both the sensors, dance and structure of the overall piece.
  • Jonas: 06:19 – 07:00 – This part became to empty, pointless and without substance and direction from my side. I wasn’t aware enough to follow up on Hedvig’s sensor usage.
  • Hedvig and Jonas: 07:00 – 07:20, we both like that Hedvig dances with no music, to show that we are equals.
  • Hedvig and Jonas: 07:20 we both agree on that the ending is not clear, we have to hold the silence and audience for a longer period of time.

Summary and overall thoughts:

We are quite happy about this performance, even though is colored by it being our first performance together. Jonas should have clearer directions in his music and establish each idea to a greater extent. Hedvig should give Jonas more auditive space and practice to be more aware to the sensors impact on the music. We feel that the “magical” moments which are the goal of this project indeed are present from time to time.

Downloads:

Ableton Live set

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From → ALL, Sound Picking

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