During the graduation show Headliners 2018 (Masters of the Frank Mohr Insitute), I performed daily with my electronic gloves and Kinect in the former sugar factory in Groningen.
I made interactive gloves and software that records the body position with the Kinect and translates that to musical information. With this system / musical instrument I play synthesizer sounds and a virtual violin, loop my voice and other sounds, and control effects.
Components: gloves with microcomputer ESP32 and capacitive touch, Kinect, Max/MSP, Ableton Live.
During MADtech’s 10-day visit to New York, I performed six songs at Sunnyvale in Brooklyn NYC:
Desta and I started collaborating. We composed a soundscape on her poem “Iets Paars” that can be intuitively performed with the body.
Below are some videos of my 40 minute performance at Taribush Kuna festival:
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.
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?
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.
During my last WhatMatters session I was encouraged to perform more frequently. In this way I can try and experiment with things that feel right to me in my music making. I also thought it was about time to start performing more for audiences outside of the Frank Mohr institute. Besides, for a while Jip and I wanted to organise a vegan potluck event (everyone brings in food and we share it all together). We thought it was an excellent opportunity to combine these two events and this is how I gathered an audience of vegan students for my performance last Wednesday.
But during the preparations I suddenly didn’t feel comfortable anymore about this performance. First of all, I received the comment from people who know my music: “your music is not suitable as some dinner background tunes.” Moreover, the setting was a bit strange, because my audience was attending because of the dinner, not necessarily because of the music. I started feeling really awkward because of this. But I told myself it would be a good opportunity to practice regularly and try out a new thing for me:
This Wednesday I performed a new piece called “Mutations” at the Minerva Theatre. This is my first experiment with visuals to my music.
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.
Bouke Bommerson, Šarūnė Paulauskaitė and me (Kayleigh Beard) have created an interactive jellyfish during the two-day workshop “PHOTON ATTACK” of artist Niklas Roy.
You can touch its tentacles and the jellyfish will respond with its lights. Or. You will get electrocuted.
Desta Matla and I have set up and hosted our installation “TardiSpaces” from the 16th of December until the 18th on Orbit Light Festival 2016.
Experience the aesthetic world of micro-animals in real time
At first sight, nothing interesting seems to be going on inside tiny spaces such as water drops and moss. In TardiSpaces you can visually and sonically experience the aesthetic world of such tiny spaces in real time. We hacked a simple webcam to function as a microscope, so the viewer can emerge in live images of the tiny space. Different kinds of micro-organisms will be swimming by, such as amoebas and tardigrades. Little do these moving creatures know that they are live music performers…
The workshop was all about performance possibilities with electronic music. So it didn’t go into technical detail about sounds and electronic music, but rather into creating a canvas that allows the musician to perform live with sounds that can be ‘endlessly’ tweaked. The theme of the week was relaxation and hypnotisation, and thus the goal was to prepare a performance that is ambient, hypnotising and relaxing.