Wezen - translation: be, character, creature, essence, gist, nature, being, intelligence, also orphans

Wezen is a series of solo music-theatre works where I try to explore the relationship between theatrical gesture and musical instrument, between the body and the sonic world.

Residency at Constant (December 2012)

The first stage of development was supported by a residency at Variable/Constant in Brussels.

Day 1

Day 2

Day 3

I have been reading a lot about Rudolf Laban’s theory of movement, and his concept of Effort; the video below is the result of designing sounds to go with his 8 Effort Drives (well, actually I still miss one), and sequencing them in a simple system, pick four of the eight, and repeat that sequence four times. My original idea was to then perform these gestures each with the left and right arm; as indicated on the top half of the screen, but I still need a bit more practice for that.

Day 4

Mixing together the various audio components I made in the previous days, which included making each sound controllable via a MIDI faderbox. While playing around with that, I realised some of the tensions that will occur between the gestures of a single performer and the amount of sonic layers that makes a composition interesting; this brings up some considerations of the “improvising machine”; that will play along with the performer; and at times guide the performance to a new direction, while at other points be driven by the performer’s actions.

These things should happen at different timescales: the level of the section, or scene; the timescale within the section (let’s say tempo), and the event level (a gesture of the performer will cause an event, the machine can choose to react to that event, or produce an event by itself to which the performer can react or not). The succession of performer’s gestures over time sets a tempo for the scene; a consistent change in types of gestures can prompt a change to a new section of the machine, vice versa the machine may decide that enough’s enough of a certain section, and that it is time to move on; the performer can then react to that shift.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.