It comes in waves

iCiW_promoAs some of you may know, I’m currently working on a new and rather uniquely immersive performance experience on Toronto Island entitled It Comes In Waves (produced by bluemouth inc and Necessary Angel).

Over the course of the evening, audiences canoe to Toronto Island, throw a surprise party, sing a few songs, play a round of strip poker, and help prepare a man for the greatest journey of his life. It’s the kind of theatrical experience which, for the moment, I can only really describe as “…if Frederico Fellini had made an Elvis movie”.

We’re in the last few days of rehearsals now. I will be updating this  post in the coming weeks, looking at several aspects of sound, interaction and dramaturgical design as they’ve unfolded in this new work.

Until then…

 

 

It Comes in Waves promocard

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In studio this week

Some initial screen captures from experiments in generating MIDI-controlled video feedback using but a handful of Zeal‘s VIZZable VJ (Max4Live) modules. Part of the latest development period for bluemouth inc‘s next immersive theatre project.1 2 3 4 5

It’s not that the island needs more of me…

The Beacon Room, Gibraltar Point Centre for the Arts…it’s that I need more of the island in me (and my work).

I’ve been working with Bluemouth Inc these last few weeks on the first breath of a new immersive performance project – so far a kind of hallucinatory take on ‘summer camp’ – through a short residency at the Gibraltar Point Center for the Arts, Toronto Island. I think the last time I worked on an art project here was with electroacoustic composer Darren Copeland (New Adventures in Sound Art). We were making a radio documentary about the history of Toronto’s soundscape, on the island, in the dead of winter, 1999. The island is an insanely beautiful place to come to work to every day. Everything about it – the constant surf crashing against the shore, the expansive blue sky, the wind that rushes through everything – it all insists that you leave what’s past behind you and move forward. Although a lot of the things we experimented with during this residency reminded me (perhaps too much) of many past (and in some cases very early) projects, the island itself  insists that I am only as good as my last work and so would I please mind moving forward and not repeat myself?

Beginning the design process for a new Bluemouth experience.

Book cover mockup I designed using a few found objects and a scanner. It's a starting point, largely out of the need to distill and concretize a bunch of title ideas and concepts being bandied about by the rest of the company for a last-ditch grant application. This is only a first sketch inevitably leading to more sketches and momentary appropriations. Keywords: 'disposable', 'prototype'

There is no funding for the next Bluemouth project. Yet how else does one begin to make something for its audience to experience? To find funding and support you need a brilliant vision, a seductive pitch, a way into people’s imaginations, something they can hold onto, become inspired with. An act of faith or an act of foolishness? There’s no money and hey I really need a paying job, but…so…hey…

How do you do it?
How do YOU do it?

Sleep. Dream. Study. Listen.

Above is a (slightly remixed) excerpt from the Rhubarb 2011 Festival performance of ‘Salle du Rêve / Centre for Sleep and Dream Studies’ with Angela Rawlings and Ciara Adams (voices) and myself (laptop). The first 3 minutes or so consists of an improv the three of us did at the end of the evening. The ‘sleep dream questionnaire’ heard throughout this excerpt was administered to individual audience members, one at a time, in an intimate setting next door to the bar/dance floor. Co-presented by Bluemouth Inc Presents last February (2011) at Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Toronto.