A soundwalk based piece for 2-4 performers
Come Across is a piece that explores a rich history of intersecting notions of walking, experiencing place, memory, mapping and sound. These concepts form part of a presentation framework for a group of performers. It prompts the design of individual routes that encompass points of branching, in which chance operations (the toss of the coin) determine the possibility of crossing or overlapping of each individual recording process. This process envisages the capture of soundscapes that are relevant to each performer, in which spatial movement forms part of the composition structure. This experience is then part of a live performance, mediated by the act of individually drawing each path executed on a map. A moment of tracing and reflection, in an attempt to synchronise the movement of the hand with the sound of each recording. Thus establishing a temporal relationship that enhances the tension between a memory of sonic events and listening to the recording.
This video was presented at The Global Composition Conference 2012. It shows a documentation of one realisation of the score (instructions), made in Belfast, July 2012.
COME ACROSS - INSTRUCTIONS
Designing the walks:
- choose an area with sounds you find interesting.
- each performer starts at a different location with contrasting soundscapes.
- each path should have a minimum of 2 decision points, where the performer decides where to go (2 options) based on the toss of a coin.
- each path should have at least one common branch with the other paths, so there is a possibility of crossing or overlapping each other’s routes.
- each path should make sure that all performers meet in the same place (preferably indoors) roughly at the same time in the end.
Recording the walks:
- use a portable recorder preferably with a windshield to record a mono format file.
- always toss the coin to the floor; choose a coin that produces a loud and high pitched sound.
the performers should not speak under any circumstance.
make sure you can synchronize all recordings for the presentation.
- each recording should be diffused separately to an individual speaker or set of speakers.
- create a map with white background and black thin lines indicating streets and building contours only.
- while listening to the set of synchronized audio files, each performer will draw a line corresponding to their own path.
- each one should use a different contrasting colour. This can be done either digitally or on a printed map, as long as it is visible to the audience and uses hand drawing.
- the performers can also add to the map other elements, such as: written comments about their memories of the experience; pictures of specific areas or found objects that relate to the space in a particular moment; other non-aural elements that present a fragmented perspective of the space/route.
- the duration of the presentation should be the same as the recording, and it depends on the location, extension and complexity of the paths’ arrangement.