Recently spent a frosty weekend in Oslo, working with Israeli choreographer Yaniv Cohen for a workshop of his upcoming work “You Look Like You”, together with geniuses Asher Lev and Andrea Spreafico. We spent a few days at Scenehuset, a beautiful ballroom, with a splendid group of dancers and performers. The work aims to use multiple computers running text-to-speech synthesis, as an interactive way for the audience to anonymously comment on – and possibly then direct – the performers on stage. Or enter into a dialogue with the performers.Everyone in the audience can walk up to a computer, and type their thoughts, their comments, their ideas, expressing what is usually hidden within your head during a performance. The computer voices are all the same, super neutral, totally indistinguishable – making it impossible to know who comments what. Personality is removed, only information is left. I find this super interesting.
My role is sound designer, composer and sonic “narrator”. I run and balance the sound of all computers, sample them in realtime for meta-commentary reactions. I subtly direct and manipulate the atmosphere and mood of the performance, by using realtime sound design and pre-composed cues or simply insert songs as a DJ.
it is very interesting, how quickly and efficiently we can control and manipulate the meaning of what is being expressed in pure words, by changing musical and sonic elements, and how this mostly appears un-noticable to performers, participants and passive observers. I am very curious to see how this work develops.
This was the second workshop of the project, we also did an earlier version in Darmstadt, Germany autumn of 2015. The work is currently in development with intented premiere at Oktoberdans, Bergen, 2016.
Photos by Yaniv Cohen and GMM.