During the opening of the exhibition “Grow” in De Nieuwe Kolk in Assen I performed a very new, unfinished work-in-progress: “To Become a Child, No More”. This exhibition is part of the ‘Work in Progress II: The Sequel’, in which groups of students from the Frank Mohr Institute work in shifts in the exhibition space and build up on the works of the other student groups.
The installation Our Harmony is a result of a collaboration between me and two master students from ‘New Audiences and Innovative Practices’ (NAIP) from the conservatory: Kim Bosch and Stefan Kirschbaum. For several months NAIP students and MADtech students had been collaborating to create a one day experimental music festival that we in the end called Hotch Potch. So during this festival on May 13, 2017, many visitors were walking in and out of Our Harmony. By moving their shared position people could trigger sounds and music. Only in collaboration they could really move the music. During performances, the audience was also able to interact with live musicians, and create an atmosphere together.
For a while I have dreamed to be able to play the cello. What a beautiful instrument. I searched for classes, but ended up not taking them because I didn’t have the money, time, and energy for it. I wanted to focus fully on performing, singing and composition. But this wish, and my love for the timbre of the cello didn’t go away. What if I could quickly build an intuitive instrument for myself, so that I could be able to express myself with something that comes close to a cello?
I am really enthusiastic about the concepts of involving the audience in a music performance and allowing people to create music together in an intuitive way (without needing music knowledge). That’s why I started to play around with the Kinect, to track how people walk in a space, and let their movements create music. (this fascination with movement to music seems to relate to a previous project of mine: TardiSpaces)
1. One person = one instrument
This is a song in progress. It was actually based on an old short musical piece which I then called “Guitar Bow Piece” because I experimented with playing a guitar with a bow. But I actually really liked the melody and atmosphere of it and it gave me the vague feeling of “opening up”. This feeling was really similar to what I have been thinking about lately.
Since I have been reading “Everyone is an Artist” and “The Ethics of Authenticity”, I started to gain a new understanding about my quest (and the modern quest in general) for living an authentic life. I even started blogging about it. But views from authors like from the books I mentioned, made me realise how much we can become obsessed by self-fulfilment, and finding our true selves, that we can become “locked in our own hearts”. The authors believe that the value of authenticity is beautiful, but they think that nowadays we tend to close ourselves off and care less for causes beyond the self. I myself was really involved in this modern quest for authenticity, and I see it around me everyday. So when having read these books, I wanted to open up a bit more to the world around me. And I think this is important for everyone. This song will be about this process of opening up.
Today I built a small dome out of paper. I think this was triggered by seeing the work-in-progress of Annie Dorsen in the Grand Theatre Groningen. Even though I didn’t completely relate to her storyline and projections, the experience of lying inside there and being immersed by the projections made me enthusiastic.
I wanted to figure out what my projections look like in a dome like that. I thought maybe I could build it out of cardboard, a lot bigger, so that people can lie in it and be immersed by the projections that belong to my music. For example, for the footage I had an idea to film a person lying on a green screen and taking several poses. Then I would play with the background of the footage and display it in the dome. The movement of person in the footage laying there (or floating in the dome) would be influenced by the music. But this has several (technical) challenges. This is my first experiment with it just to get the first idea on how easy it is to construct a dome, and get a glimpse of what it would be like to do one of my projections in it.
Words about my interests and themes
- creative lifestyle
- healthy earth & animals
- overload of info / society pressure
This Wednesday I performed a new piece called “Mutations” at the Minerva Theatre. This is my first experiment with visuals to my music.
From the 30th of January until the 5nd of February I participated in the annual “Music Makers Hacklab” in Berlin, as part of Club TransMediale Festival (CTM). The hacklab was facilitated by artists Byrke Lou and Peter Kirn, and was hosted by Native Instruments. “The hacklab is a collaborative, improvisatory, experimental environment for working together to conceive and realise new ideas in a week of intensive activity.”
Thanks to many studio visits this week I had the insight that I want to work differently with my music. I want to focus more on the ideas, the composition process and performance. I have spent a long time polishing my latest song “Rainforest Light”. The idea and the creative process of composing the song didn’t take that long, but the mixing and mastering took ages. And mixing is not even my specialty, so the result is definitely not perfect. And what does it give me? Less time for the real thing (the creative process)? Less time/energy to experiment? I like the music to be of high quality, but that could also be a step to take in a later stage, or with people with more knowledge about mixing and mastering. My energy and artistic quality lies in the idea, the composition and performing of my music, mixing and mastering is needed a little bit, but should definitely not have the focus. It can be really frustrating and can kill the idea (at moments when I’m being so perfectionist that I listen to my music 10000 times and get sick of it!). So from now on I will be showing more of my composition and performing. These videos are a basic example of something like that (but a shame that you cannot see what’s happening, because I am right in front of the music devices I use). From now on I will record my music in a much more basic state, and even when the song isn’t completely finished, like this one. I will also play more with the location, performance possibilities and improvisation.
Idea: songwriting tool based on what I learned from Berklee Songwriting course on Coursera > but are all these tools not a way of distancing your art from youself?
Idea: spiritual / meditational walk > interactive music based on GPS. Just because it combines practices for me that I like. But what is my why? This idea makes me think that my why is all about the process. About enjoying and taking in the process. Maybe that could be the core of the walk. Go to places, explore the environment, and work in the environment 🙂 It’s so perfect in terms of way of working: nature, body movement, spirituality, music. Nice for spring project. But be careful that it’s not like those guys with the narrative walk.