within was the result of a six month collaboration between myself,
choreographer jocelyn berry
and six dancers. i designed and built a number of interactive sound devices for the dancers to wear,
and together we created environments in which they could perform.
worlds within was a work in three parts, informally titled: lights,
feedback and heartbeats.
in lights the dancers wore soundhats as they moved about
the dark space attempting to 'tune' one another. the only light came from the flashlights mounted
on the dancers heads, which cast strange patterns on the theatre walls as they moved about the space.
feedback was an improvised duet between myself and one of the dancers (estelle).
the dance floor was divided into five areas, and a computer tracked estelle as she moved
from zone to zone. the dancer's movements were limited to a small group of gestures, which she
was free to sequence and perform in any order. while estelle danced, i played a small metal tube in various ways (ringing, blowing, tapping).
the sounds i made were then processed and altered by the computer before being amplified in the room.
the type of processing applied to my sounds (repetition, pitch changes, delays, filters, etc.) was
determined by where estelle was in the space. for each zone she moved into there was a corresponding
process that the computer would use to alter my playing. at the same time, i was sending messages to estelle (through changes in the stage lighting) about
how she should 'process' her movement. i could tell her to move very slowly, pause,
repeat a gesture, etc.
i was playing the tube, but estelle was controlling how it would sound. she was dancing, but i was
controlling how it would look. each of our decisions influenced the other's actions which in turn
influenced our own. we were in a feedback loop.
in final section, heartbeats, three non-dancers sat on the stage with heartbeat monitors
taped to their chests and audio outputs wired to their hands. hanging from the ceiling were a number
of audio input jacks which were connected to the house speakers. the dancers carried lengths of wire
which they connected to one another to form long cables. they then used the cables to connect the
heartbeat monitors to the house sound system. when a connection was made, the sound of the
amplified heart pounded loudly in the space. the dancers moved around
the space, making and breaking connections between the heartbeats and the speakers.