Eadweard’s Ear – Muybridge extended

Eadweard’s Ear-Muybridge extended – an interface for composers, dancers and musicians.
The dancers’ movements are transformed in real time into a graphical notation by a specially developed interface.
The generated movement data are interpreted by musicians on the basis of a trained compositional structure. In turn, they evoke the immediately resulting movements of the dancers.  A dialogue between music and dance is developing via the interface. Medial and physic processes of perception penetrate each other, notations become real-time tools.

2017 Berliner Editionen 1-4 at Uferstudios Berlin.
2018 invited by Künstlerhaus MOUSONTURM Frankfurt am Main.
2018 October at Akacemy of the Arts Berlin
Funded by Hauptstadtkulturfond Berlin.

Central to all musical considerations was the question which mutual spatial perspectives sounds and bodies can facilitate. Observers and listeners should be enabled to witness the formation of space in the process. However, if we do not understand music as entertainment or accompaniment to movement or imagery, we have a problem with an established canon of everyday life. Even with established classical choreographies, the questions must be asked
Does dance need music to be complete?
And what does music gain through this dance?
Does a third entity really arise by assembling the aggregates?
Or do they just work (too) well next to each other?

The connection of musical sound and body can, however, call attention to the emergence of space, to the moment in which spatial formation “happens” at the site of the event due to a dynamization of coordinates and progressions between sound and body. Different parts of the body have been linked with sounds or spatial-sound gestures so that movements and spatial positions of the body can be gradually anticipated within in the space-sound-formation process derived from the movement data. The effects of these three-dimensional connections are literally multilayered and must be tested and experienced over and over again in the course of the performance. This mutual learning process during the performance mode is extremley problematic as there is an intrinsic conflict between music (works according to its own rules), musical cliché (annoying through redundancy and saturation) and acoustic surprise (interesting, but also destroying concentration). Enduring this tension is fundamental to this work. The experiment with establishment and instantiation on the one hand and redundancy and saturation in the sense of “I already know” on the other, is a compositional component here, the risks of which we can only learn to deal with through personal engagement. Here, the threshold between arbitrariness and momentum is deliberate and literally waferthin. Therefore the compositional  approach in the Berlin Editions 1-4 undertakes the search for an “Almost-And-Just-Yet-Music”. In doing so, the project assumes that in contrast to the traditional way of music making, we do not inscribe sounds into time but into place. The latter, of course, also has a temporal dimension, only this is put into the service of space. Like a sculpture that can only be perceived in space and as a space, with a temporal dimension of experience (different perspectives, walking around, focal points of attention, plasticity). The body reveals these spatial relationships, concentrates attention and changes perspectives. The searching, researching body, its postures, movements, gestures creates urgency and attention for and focus on spatial perception and hopefully enables a momentary liberation from conventional expectations of music with dance or dance with music or even dance music.

Concept and direction: Penelope Wehrli
Programming: Jona Glasstetter
Composition and Musical direction: Gerriet K. Sharma
Choreographic developing and dance: Jutta Hell, Dieter Baumann (Rubato)
Electric guitar: Alejandra Cardenas
Bassoon: Stephanie Hupperich
Percussion: Alexander Nickmann
Technical Supervision: Thomas Koch

 

 

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