This weekend I am performing as a guest artist as part of Sharon Mansur and Nick Bryson's insert [ ] here at the newly renovated Dance Place. For my part, I will be performing a solo which begins in the new dressing room and then moves to the office, surrounded by the new colored glass corner. The work, among other things, explores our visceral response to space. And, Dance Place is a lovely new and familiar space to respond to.
One of the other elements I will be exploring in this performance is having a direct, manipulative relationship to the sound and music. I asked composer/DJ/multi-media artist Alvin Hill to collaborate on creating a sound instillation I could adjust within the performative context. We asked: how can I, as the performer, respond to the sound, but also change it? Manipulate it? Filter it?
I think we came up with a unique solution combining current technology with a little retro, leaving me room to both manipulate and respond to it. Alvin created 5 different sound tracks, from an effected variation of my voice to a sparse piano solo to a sound-scape reminiscent of trains, tones and subtlety - all so beautiful. We put each track on its own MP3 player connected to an FM transmitter (like you might use to listen to your iPod in the car) and set them to different frequencies. (see photo below for equipment) I then swooped down on local second hand shops and bought all the clock radios I could find (7). In performance I will be changing frequencies on the clock radios throughout the performance to layer the sounds in different ways - sometimes playing one track, some times many tracks at the same time.
This set up is an interesting contrast between these unfamiliar tracks Alvin created, things you wouldn't hear on the radio, and hearing them with the crackles and static listening to a radio entails. Seeing me, and hearing, the changing of radio stations. Seeing me shift my movement qualities in regards to the changing sound. This all becomes a world of sound and movement familiar in some concrete ways, but unfamiliar in many ways. A juxtaposition between the everyday and a performance. Much like the the overall performance you'll see from Sharon, Nick, and guest artists - a mix of the mundane and the extra-ordinary.