Design And Performance Lab

(Moveable World)


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Rehearsals in February/March 2010, here showing Anne Laure Misme's WorkerWoman (c) 2010 DAP Lab

Further Writings: Birringer Blog


UKIYO 2 rehearsals in March 2010

Creation scenes

Doros writes:<<I have posted some pictures and some videos of my work so far on my blog. Please have a look and tell me any thoughts/criticisms. Johannes I will prepare a longer video and sent it to you so you can have something for the rehearsal. Thanks everyone, Doros >>

To all Lab Members: thank you for your good responses, I need to reflect further on Katsura's reply, expecially her ideas for performing with a screen perhaps ON TOP of the white runway / on the hanamichi..... this is of course interesting, and i had been drawing sketches last week, shifting the screens around the space, all over to difference places/planes. Also as a triangular tent in the centre, where the speakers were last June. Speakerwoman could place the spheres inside the tents-triangular.

Katsura could perform creation scene on her runway/hanamichi: Yiorgos, engineer, will mount screen, and later disassemble it ? Olu and Yiorgos can shadow the action more, and also modify mise en scene more than we have done in the past. Yiorgos had the mic in the Entr'acte, but can do more "recording", and shifting sensorspace. he may also have to do something to the leaves.

(Maki Ueda becoming involved with the scent of autumn leaves on Katsura's hanamichi? - this is something we shall test/workshop in June as well)

See my evoving new dramaturgy at bottom of last blogsite. You will be getting sheets of the drawings at the next two lab rehearsals; Sunday March 14, 13:oo - 19:00. and March 28, 13 - 19:oo, ARTAUD 101 Studio.

Everyone who has time is welcome to rehearsal. The March 14 session could also be a smaller rehearsal, focussed on Olu who is coming. The rhythm/percussion and industrial sounds could be explored. The sphere spakers cables will need to be extended to 10 meters and tested. I hope to make voice recordings. March 28, 13:oo - 19:00, ARTAUD 101 Studio is our last rehearsal before the Easter break, i hope to have Eng Tat there (online) to test sensor, except if Katsura is not able to come then, we will try the 14th also for sensor interface, except we do not have the creation scene? Doros, could you please make a short quicktime mov or mp4 that we could use for the landscape, for the time being. Notes on hanamichi (please also pursue Yukihiko's many recommendations): Shichi-san: This is an important moment on the hanamichi, the long runway that cuts across the traditional Japanese Kabuki theatre. Three seventh into the way, the Kabuki actor stops on the hanamichi, and turns to the audiences, it is a great moment (called Shichi-san) , perhaps heightened by the percussion of joruri music on the side, the percussionist pointing his claves at the actor or the audience, or at me or at her or at him, actors in the role of running on the hanamichi, forward to the end of our stage of our lives.

Johannes Birringer

March 06, 2010

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I am trying to catch up, but Michele has already addressed some of the most crucial areas of our UKIYO research. The responses to the February rehearsals, and to Doros's constructions, are extremely helpful. Perthaps the whole compan should know this, that Michele has now constructed a visual document (on power point) that delineates all the design processes and ideas that hav gone into the characters and her design ideas for the sonics/audio actions, and our performers and visual composers can now relate to the challenges and develop the work further, along some of the lines i am suggesting for the expanded dramaturgy for UKIYO 2.

We have been slowed down as we are a large company and we needed to find ways to imagine integrating Japanese guests artists into the dramaturgy, and i suggest also that the sections with/for our guest artists can be developed (choreography and sound) by our Japanese visitors in late May/ June. The UKIYO 1 structure stands and will be refined and slightly shifted, i hope to have that all worked out to direct the production by the end of March, beginning with ideas of the smoke language right at the start of the performance, evolving our scenography from here, Anne Laure's commentaries, and her description of her work process, were very helpful and illuminating, we see each performer needing to do with, and in May we shall have the visual frameworks to rehearse with (Doros will give me test creation, and Paul and I shall me animation machines). Each character will have a defined time frame and module for live choreography, and generation of acoustic sound or interaction with our composers and musicians. Michele and I are interested in the audio engineering of sound, small speakers, small microphone, sensors, voice, tool (object / instrument), and I am sure you all are, and so we will be tinkering.

By June, we have the option of making a collective decision (this is being the last year of the UKIYO and the Lab, as you guessed) -- perform small scale and carefully designed installation UKIYO 2 (40 minutes) in London in November/December, provdied we find an exciting host venue, - perform expanded UKIYO 2 with Japanese artists (in a venue in London/UK) (55-60 minutes), bringing in the Japanese guests artists after we have found a good structure - perform smaller scale version or expanded version on Slovenian tour (June 10-19). Who can go on tour? - film all Japanese & DAP performances while performers are here in studio together - 2011 is dedicated to exhibiting audiovisual objects and research findings on small scale;

At the moment, it appears the May 29, 30, 31, June 1 (and the first week of June for those who will be in residence) rehearsals are completely crucial to find out what Doros will have for us, and whether we can integrate Eng Tat's transmitters/sensors into the sonic and visual inter-action. I need to ask everyone to realize that we cannot accomplish our ambitious goals of making a new production unless we all contribute, and we have the technical structures all in place.

Once we know when Eng Tat and Doros arrive, we can become concrete on that end, and following Oded's suggestions for the technical agenda, again this is something that needs to be carried out in sub units and between members, not centrally. We are a distributed organsim. Meanwhile, I encourage the performers to continue to have close contact with Michele and me. thanks Johannes



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Sunday night March 14: we just ended rehearsal and it was a very good one, it was helpful to have Olu back (along with Caroline, Anne Laure and Jennifer), and we worked on his character, movement, movement relations, and evolving resonances with Queen Character (Bandoneon woman), and Workerwoman.

Olu introduced drums (from Ghana/Yoruba traditons, a big drum and a "Talking drum", and he played live for us to demonstrate different rhythms (drum language), in 4/4. 4/8, 6/8, and 7/8, focusing on body and hands, , then also using his voice as an instrument and focusing on the mouth (articulations, syllabic./consonantal mouth percussion) - and inflections (how to "send out" the sound from the face and mouth. He used a rhythmmouthlanguage that reminded me of indian dancers (Bharatnatyam, Kathak ) and their use of wordfragments. He then showed us three movement types he had worked on (1) Leopard, (2) industrial automata (3) Butho inspired reflector, the body that takes in and gives back to environment, looks back at past and to future, bending time and space. Olu also explained in great detail the "tonal language" quality of Yoruba language, where it is not words so much as tonalities of words, different intonings that create meaning, and emotional affect, and Olu wanted to work towards the emotional expression, and doing so (following tanztheatre style, e.g. Pina Bausch) in the Kommissa r suit, formal european style not traditional African.

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Olu Taiwo in rehearsal of movement (left) and drumming presentation (roght) (c) 2010 DAP Lab

Olu worked for a while, and he can probably sum up what he is offereing much better; he also brought the recorded electronic version of the beat, even though we all thought the live percussion was so much more powerful. To have percussive dimension will make our work richer, for sure, and I think Olu's character shouid be there, present, on the thresholds (trickster style), the cross over points or empty space between two hanamichi, from the beginning, shadowing Yiorgos' Brashinksy. (and later the Aztec Queen). Next, Caroline rehearsed, and demonstrated, and then Anne Laure, working on their sound and their characters.

Caroline had prepared several poses (gestures) drawn from high emotional states of opera singers, she wants to pair those with the zaum poetry, and we suggested it might work really well to counterpoint/slightly separate the vocal expressions from the gestural directions, and to work further on how the former BandoneonWoman becomes the kyogen figure of slightly mad or really mad , over the top expression. The comedy side needs to emerge more., but it was very promising today, and we discussed voice characters also. How is voice used theatrically (Kabuki), how in extended vocal technique excesses? can a voice be like an ultrasonic sound (i attach my sonogram) of blood flowing through arteries? Strangely, the blood sample i got sounds a little like Anne Laure's sound created with the vinyl disc. (attached) Voices need to be worked more, we used mics in last run through and mic helps.

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Caroline Wilkins in rehearsal (c) 2010 DAP Lab

Anne Laure presented the Saint Agatha image of cut off speaker breasts (functional) on silver disc, she worked with black vinyl and laser disc with two small speakers that Jennifer and AL had built, and we used the 5.1 Amp / system to learn more audio tool technology (i brought contact mic and wireless mic to test them as well, and we will now create Max/msp patch and an Isadora sound patch to send clicking and hissing and sssusshing and alike technonoises from the factory to the small speakers for WorkerWoman, just for testing & exploring. . AL also had Michele's nice industrial object/speaker to work

with, and followed the work she and Michele had developed last time in one on-one rehearsal. I summarized this as best as i could for some of you not here today -- and Doros we talked about your creation scene, where it would be visible (with whom as painter, Katsura?), and whether it is limited to one screen or not.

We don't know how long the scene can he held, but we think it can be created, and fade. and then regain itself and be there, faded (gone) and back) if we like, as a repetition, each time we need to realize it is alive, not prercorded,. that means things inside it can change, this is how we understand your concept , it is a living island. We need to see whether we can also do live processing (in Isadora) of leaves and animations of leaves and hands and some of Paul's motifs. Paul? I shot (filmed) Olu's hands today, normal opening out and also drumming, and intend to replace the inner moment of Entr'acte,. when Mamen asks Olu to "show his hands," with the new hands we filmed today. I want to create echoes and repercussions. Show me your hands.

This could also be a question asked to the audience,. Do we pass out lemons? do we want to work with smell and taste? our sonic and movement leitmotifs, our overall art design, with the characters Michele is designing and all the ideas we have developed and all of your contributions, we should have a strong work in the making, we do not need a clear narrative (Sonnenschein), the sonic performance characteristics and the moveable worlds should be enough for us once we have a tight directional dramaturgy. (Helenna, yes we like to have to with us in next rehearsal on March 28, when Olu will come back..... (and you need to prepare your movements and expressions, especially HammerWoman, like the others )...

The interaction scene can only be performed properly if we get to work in late May/ early June, it will be quite vital Doros (Eng Tat?) that you can be with us, as Yoko Higachino and her sound partner are coming , it is being confirmed. We need to , if possible, in the same room at the same time Visitor List for May 30, 31, June 1-7 workshop (full dates for Slovenia tour concerts to be confirmed. June 17-18, fly back 19th is confirmed already for concert in Maribor, and they wanted us to be able to work there the whole week, from Monday 14th onward, also try to arrange a premiere for us in Ljubljana in an old movie theatre)

DAP MEMBERS: i begin ro realize that we may not all be able to go (tour) or rehearsal for such a long stretch. We may not be able to. Should I ask you on the 28th March? and then cancel or confirm? Please check your availabilities in this first half of June, it is our big window opportunity, as the Japanese team will be coming:

Doros Eng, Tat Yoko, Higashino, Kajiwara, Yumi Sagara, Jun Magime, Biyo Kikuchi, Kayoko Tokumitsu, Yukihiko Yoshida, ---- Yiorgios will have to come in from Greece, and Doros is coming in from Crete. it can't get much more complicated :) I will soon start worrying about dates and arrival/flights and then also accommodation, so if you can let me know before Easter please, i would purchase tickets in March, and prepare logistics. Your trip to Slovenia would be free (paid for), also hotel, and a honorarium per performance. thank you with regards Johannes

15 March 2010

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On 3/13/10 Johannes: thanks for the clarifications, Michèle and Anne-Laure: and yes, i also remembered the small speakers as styling on Helenna, but now that we are building more speakers and exploring their sounds, i feel that they have an important function, dysfunctionally or otherwise, perhaps the prosthetic arm, whichIi completely agree is a powerful and important design dimension for the whole first half of our work and for the relationship i begin to imagine to Industrial Worker Woman, to the Percussion (Kabuki / African dimension) possibly introduced by Olu, and Yiorgos's role as engineer (Mic) -

Yiorgos we need to work with real mic, and then we can see whether, once Helenna spends more time on technological research, the prosthetic arm can be emitting/transmitting. Image relation --- we'd need to think about this (Paul?) and see whether the space that Katsura creates ----- in PART THREE, is something that fades away, stays, or is re-addressed by other performers (even if they have no sensor control on it). It now appears (from the dozens of mail i am getting from Yukihiko), that we shall have with us in May/early June:

Yoko Higashino (Baby Q contemporary dance)/ M Kajiwara / sound artist (Baby Q contemporary dance) , and Yukihiko thinks of them as one of the very significant contemporary postmodern companies in Japan, and i agree. If Yoko can create a "Kyogen" solo for Part TWO (counterpoint to butoh) and/or for Part FOUR and part FIVE (this solo can repeat under different phase state, and in counterpoint to Caroline's mad Queen), we have an interesting development of the performer world relationships.

This will be Doros's creation and yet also perhaps the anime machine that Paul had worked on (Mareyimage).

I saw a fine young MA musician Wednesday night performign with all kinds of self built small mics. This is Sandy Finlayson, and he builds his own contact mics from the tiny piazzo/piezo sensors we once bought and never used, Mich¸le will still have them or Paul has them. Finlayson created a 10 minute solo concert with reverb and live sampling (using water glass, metal bowl, water, small tiny marbles he dropped on the bowl, a small acoustic guitar, etc, and he created a facsinating concert (underlying of course he has a Max Patch and ambient sound data running on his Mac) right there on his little table, small Cage resonance- the pourig of water, lovely, fond memories come back to me i > shall try and get a copy of this.

It would be nice if Oded and Caroline and our new sound engineers whom we need to bring in can work with you all on such sonic creation and biofeedback/industrial feedback in real time, it can be done, as Sandy Finlayson showed, with the smallest of small sensors, and that is why the tiny speakers for an acoustic/electronic performance such as hours can work very well. regards johannes


Michele Danjoux wrote (10.3.2010): It was mentioned by Johannes that Helenna wore many small dysfunct speakers and what are our plans this year?

The Tokyo experiment had the prosthetic arm, this is great and promising, but we need to decide whether the arm is interactiive, and what you will perform, how does HammerWoman character move here, and against or with what images/photography or 3d world.

I liked very much the interactivity of the prosthetic arm, for me it was a successful experiment... probably more so than the piece we experimented on with Katsura in Tokyo for interactivity. With the arm, it just seemed that > sensor, arm and gesture came together beautifully and completely in relation to choreography and character emergence... It would be great if Helenna could work with images here but not essential. I guess it depends on where we decide to place those moments of interactivity, where do they have most > impact/meaning/significance?

In terms of the small dysfunctional speakers worn by Helenna last June, they were pure styling feature last June but could be made functional and perhaps located on the prosthetic arm. I am sensitive to the fact that they have only > very small sound emiting capability and always feel that discussions have > indicated that they are not considered to be so workable for the large scale > performance installation scenario. A further discussion would be nice on speakers and speaker capablility and perhaps acoustic events, nature of > audience experience etc. >Best Regards, Michele

10. 03. 2010

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Paul V Smith writes: Just a short note to say that you seem to be working in very positive directions that I envisaged early on with Martin and Jez. The Piezo Microphones create a sensate audio environment. The sensors create a potentially sensate visual environment. The interaction with by the performer brings the sensate environment to life. Without the performer there is nothing. What is a blind alley is to ask these things to do something that is pre-ordained and pre programmed rather than simply be an organic environment that may or may not be theatrically interesting. The aim should be less of one of creating actions /interactions with a set effect or outcome but more of the serendipitous moments that can come about about when one walks around an exhibition or a gallery and bumps into the unexpected and plays or improvises with it. Learning to play. Best regards paul

15. 03. 2010

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Notes on Marey_machines and photography


here is the transcription of the Relationsscapes essay on movement machines.


(it will take a few seconds to load) enjoy. Johannes


January-February. 2010 Johannes Birringer


Further Writings:

Birringer Blog



This research project is funded by a PM12 Connect/British Council Grant and a grant by The Japan Foundation

dance tech network site of Ukiyo project


All photos (c) DAP-Lab





Project directors: Johannes Birringer & Michèle Danjoux

Brunel University, West London