Beyond movement an animal, beyond an animal the sound

Publication Type:

Conference Paper


SMC Conference 2007 (2007)




‘Beyond movement an animal, beyond an animal the sound’ is a solo interactive dance performance about the route of an animal from birth to an unnatural death. The project experiments with the control and adjustment of musical parameters through movement. Two questions raised during this work are: in which ways are movements translated into sound? How can a single person realize dance and composition, while at the same time efficiently handling software programming? The dancer takes decisions upon the real time sound mixing and processing via a miniDV camera, which is placed on the ceiling of the stage as well as EyesWeb and SuperCollider software. Parameters extracted from video to drive the sound were the coordinates of the center of gravity of the silhouette of the dancer, the total amount of movement of the silhouette and the duration of movement or stasis of the silhouette. These drove the triggering of sound samples and the processing of these via filters, granulation, pitch shift and spectral processing. The duration of the performance varies from ten to fourteen minutes, depending on the time the moving body needs to drive through the different phases of the choreography. Handling the entire production process from sound design over software programming to choreography and performance was a challenge that resulted in an aesthetically homogeneous and finely tuned result, that takes fully into advantage the flexibility afforded by “playing” the sound via the dancer’s movements. Thus “interaction” is here understood as the mutual adjustment of sound from the dancer’s movement and the dancer’s movement from the sound, both at the design stage and during the performance.