illustrator and acoustic musicians interact live
Theatre company Oorkaan created the conditions for equal improvisational dialogue between live illustration and acoustic music for Glimp, a performance for 2-year olds.
Their labquestion was: How can projection and interaction in rehearsal and performance phase facilitate that dialogue in improvisation? Glimp director Bram de Goeij described this as as follows:
“we want to create dramatic tension between music, illustrations, people, objects and light.”
An interesting challenge to Oorkaan’s objective and research questions was that two-year olds have not yet familiarized themselves with causal relations. One thing causing another (a basic principle in improvisation) goes unnoticed unless the action and reaction is very simple and often repeated. To test the effect of their efforts on their target audience they tried out for a number of two-year olds and their parents in the studio in December 2013.
MAPLAB’s research objective was to create a set-up in which Oorkaan could explore the possibilities of projection and interaction. The set-up consisted of a staged setting for two musicians, the illustrator, developer, technical dramaturg and the test-audience.
In that setting were various especially created sound measure devices attached to small mics for input. The output were projections of visualisations of the music combined with hand drawn graphics. Inputs came together in an especially developed prototype with a custom made interface for the illustrator, which enabled her to take part in the improvisation with her own ‘instrument’.
Through this interface the illustrator was able to place pre-drawn graphics in the theatre space and let the music from the double bass and percussion influence the visuals by a large variety of variables, such as rotation, positioning and scaling. Additionally she was able to use a pre-coded physics scripts, these scripts mock laws of physics, so that a group of illustrations are perceived as under the influence of natural forces, such as: gravity, or a breeze.
More info on interface development can be found under R&D.
Parallel to the artistic and lab research the co-creation process was observed and analysed. Process research questions were:
- How do the participants of this lab try to give shape to the artistic product through interaction between acoustic instruments and live illustration?
- How does this particular interdisciplinary process go? How do the representatives of different disciplines react to one another (including developer and technical lab dramaturg)?
- In what way does MAPLAB’s environment (tools, space, approach) help the lab participants to develop their artistic ideas and make (more) conscious choices in respect to technology and interaction?
The process description and analysis have been published in a Prezi, which will soon be made available.
Glimp II followed a few months later. Now that conditions for equal interdisciplinary dialogue were established, it was time to play! Find Glimp II under related projects below.