Week 4: Last tests

Uncategorized duncan @ 2:55 pm

so we head into our last week with renewed vigour and a pick-up of the pace . . .

We ‘ve planned for a couple of live trials so monday is a day of site recces and we finally choose Spui square.
Today’s point of discussion was about research methods and the value of the everyday. Should you always research the history/legacy of a place when creating a work that will be experienced there? Does a deeper understanding of the past let you write better for the present, or should you just observe and react to what you can experience for yourself.
We attempt a mixture of both and begin to sculpt a rough structure for the work, a series of ‘frames’ for the participants contributions to sit within.
We start with the cinematic, a description of the buildings and a wider view of the location. iphone case Inspired by an episode of ‘this american life’ where a postman talks about what he knows (and guesses!) about the occupants of the houses he delivers to, we begin to incorporate fictions around the people who may be in the houses. coque huawei The text then continues a wide circular description, drifting over the places beyond the wallsm the places you can’t see, before returning to the square.
This is followed by a series of framed sections that shiftfrom one mood to another, eventually pushing outwards and reversing back around the original circular description.
Each of our frames sets up a way of ‘thinking’ but we know from past tests that this isn’t quite enough to guide the vocalised contributions of the audiemce, so we plant ‘seeds’, scripted contributions from fictional participants. peluche licorne We also add a section of music, to add a break in the soundspace. On top of all this we try out Arjan’s new software for the first time., allowing us to move away from the conference call mode and have the individual contributions recorded and then played out to the rest of the people taking part, queing them one after the other and removing the layers of noise.
So with all these new things to test . . collier argent . coque iphone . it of course goes completely wrong and we have a serious technical failure! Undeterred we revert to out conference call mode but include the new frame structures.
I don’t really feel we learnt much about how the piece worked, but we definitely reminded ourselves that testing too many things in one go can be difficult!

Some tinkering from Arjan and a dash of re-writing by us leads to our next (and final) test on Thursday.
This one begins much more successfully, people respond well to the seeds, but it’s clear we aren;t shifting the tone enough from one to the other.
We had tried to start incorporating some physical choreography, encouraging them to go to locations that they’d heard described by others, or maybe to find the other contributors. This wasn’t strong enough and didn’t give enough drive to move with purpose. needs a bit of a re-think.
The sense of connection between people is obvious, but we are still working with a group that know each other (or at least were all together at the start of the test), so it’s still hard to guage how people would speak if they didn’t know who they were talking to.

A small addition to the music also created some expected and unexpected results. coque huawei On the tuesday there had been a busker in the square playing violin beautifully but incrediblly loudly, and rudely he had chosen not to play in the same key as the music we were playing to our audience, causing an uncomfortable soundclash. coque huawei When I arrived to set up with Arjan on Thursday the busker re-appeared, so I jumped at the opportunity to try something I’d been thinking about for a while. A short conversation in broken english + spanish convinced him to become involved in our piece. I gave him an mp3 player to hide in his pocket, for the majority of our test he just played as usual, a fixture in the environment for the audience, but then when they started hearing our recorded music in their ears the violinist suddenly shifted his playing to duet with it, a beautiful bleed between the unpredictable (real? hmmm) and the choreographed.
This created some strange experiences for the audience, as much as the bleed was slightly magical for them, they also suddenly brought the busker and his audience into the narrative of the piece, building a story around people they now thought were all ‘in on it’.

We had intended to try out an addition to the ‘circular’ structure, where towards the end of the piece we began to playback contributions people had left, but play them in reverse order, tracing their way back to the start of the piece, to see if simple, lightweight early contributions take on more importance once the audience has gone through the experience, and their contribution becomes a memory of that space, and when they hear other peoples whether they reflect on what they were doing/thinking when they first heard it.

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