Performing Site-Specific Theatre article

ImagePalgrave Macmillan has just released Performing Site-Specific Theatre: Politics, Place, Practice (Anna Birch and Joanne Tompkins, editors) – an anthology of writing investigating the nature of the relationship between ‘site’ and ‘performance’.

Among the collected writings is an article written in collaboration with Bruce Barton (University of Toronto Drama Centre), in which we explore the theory and practical (creative) application of immersive audio technologies in site-specific performance. Entitled Immersive Negotiations: Binaural Perspectives on Site-specific Sound, the article places a large emphasis on my sound design work for site-specific performance collective bluemouth inc (who also feature prominently in an another article in this anthology by Keren Zaiontz). It’s a rather brief article, focusing largely on the confluence of immersive audio design, mobile audiences, and trompe d’ oreille (deception of the ear), in creating heightened sensory experiences.

Here is the publisher’s description of the book:

“Performing Site-Specific Theatre turns a critical eye to the increasingly popular form of site-specific performance. By re-assessing this contemporary practice, the book investigates the nature of the relationship between ‘site’ and ‘performance.’ Site-specific performance operates differently from performance that takes place within a theatre venue because it seeks to match form and content (and place and space) more finely than does theatre that takes place inside conventional venues. Yet the form also encourages an investigation of how we might understand ‘site’ as less fixed or less specifically geographical; it broadens the types of relevant ‘spaces’ we might consider. The form also enables us to address a range of performative issues, from the development of site-specific ‘soundscapes’ to the role of the spectator in site-specific performance. The contributions in the book from leading theorists and practitioners demonstrate how site-specific performance extends theatre’s potential engagement with its geographical and political communities, and cover an exceptional range of innovative performance practices. Students, scholars and practitioners of contemporary theatre and performance, space and place, and site-specific performance will find much to value in this timely interrogation of current trends, practices and implications of performance in which site/landscape is central.”

Profile in MUSICWORKS magazine #107

Front cover of Musicworks #107Musicworks magazine (for ‘curious ears’), has just released it’s summer issue (#107). In it’s pages, Toronto filmmaker and writer Chris Kennedy profiles my music and sound design work with performance collective Bluemouth Inc., Finger and National Exit Strategy.

Also included in this issue are profiles of Friendly Rich, Prince Rama, Marilyn Lerner, the genre of ‘psychotropic music’, and Rob Cruickshank’s recipe for making yourself a pair of binaural microphones for under $25.

The magazine also comes with a CD, which includes an excerpt of the sound design for Bluemouth Inc’s Death By Water and a cut off the first National Exit Strategy EP.

National Exit Strategy

…this dream i had once where STEVE REID and STEWART COPELAND were driving a florescent orange schoolbus to LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY’s studio in the hopes of recording a drum battle remix for AMON TOBIN (as a farewell gesture before retiring to the Hebrides). Along the way. they start listening to a Japanese import bootleg of the early electronic music of KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN and begin to argue about the use of live processing on drum kits as a symptom of sleep deprivation. Suddenly the bus falls prey to a blinding SIANSPHERIC glare and swerves, narrowly missing the tall guy from DIRTY VEGAS, who was too busy losing himself in vintage Manga by the side of the road to notice. The bus comes to a screeching halt in the middle of the road (‘RA…TA…TAT…AP…PA….RAT’). STEVE and STEWART get out, nervous and sweating in the hot afternoon sun. They look around and realize that they are both wearing their FOUR TET tour T’s inside out. They share a laugh and a hi-five, unaware that in the back of the bus, STEWART’s last bottle of Hai Karate aftershave has smashed open and is now smothering STEVE’s last box of ENO tablets. Still, it really is the perfect day for a nation-wide evacuation….

An artifact of the now-defunct Department for Personal Sonification, National Exit Strategy is psychedelic dub and techno with a live drummer, microscopically amplified and re-computed to create a cosmos of soaring tones and colours fueled by heavy dance-driven beats and and geekable-tweakables.

National Exit Strategy’s first relesase is the 6-track EP – ‘Safety Sleeper Six’ – available through CDBaby and iTunes

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