Go Embrace Release by Lindsey Lollie

A new video from choreographer Lindsey Lollie and dancer Jordan Saenz with music by me. Every sound you hear is sourced from samples of Lindsey reciting the three title words and manipulated using things like EQ, resonators and about three tons of delay. Enjoy.

Strangely Soothing Songs

As it is Claude Debussy’s birthday, I thought I’d share some music I find soothing, in my own way. What you have to understand, though, is that people are just born with differently wired nervous systems. When they want to wind down or reenergize, different people will go to classical, or coffeehouse, or chill lounge, or even Coldplay. I just happen to be soothed by loud music with a groove. It seems to help if there are metallophones involved. Cut up vocal samples, too. If you notice any particular trend, seriously, let me know. But for whatever reason, these songs all occupy the same musical space in my soul. When I need it, these are examples of what get me and my particularly atypical nervous system when I need them to.

I’ve linked each video with a little description, and at the bottom of this post is an embedded YouTube playlist that will play them in the basically arbitrary order in which I thought of them. So come back to this post whenever you need it, weary traveler. Make a cup of hot tea and rest your feet by fire. Then jam the hell out. Enjoy.

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I Am Amandla

I Am Amandla, music by myself, with choreographer Mersiha Mesihovic of CircuitDebris. All sounds come from recordings of the beating of a human heartbeat, with the exception of the delayed synth noises of course. It was inspired by the action of self-immolation, specifically brought to the choreographer’s attention in the incredible case of Mohammed Bouazizi. This piece was workshopped in Italy and has now been performed all over New York City.

Chopchop + Onformative Sound Sculpture

A very cool sound sculpture captured by German art tech collective Chopchop in collaboration with Onformative, a studio specializing in generative design. Three Kinects captured a dancer’s improvisation and were then modeled together to form a 3D image which is auditorially self-referential. Good stuff.

The basic idea of the project is built upon the consideration of creating a moving sculpture from the recorded motion data of a real person. For our work we asked a dancer to visualize a musical piece (Kreukeltape by Machinenfabriek) as closely as possible by movements of her body. She was recorded by three depth cameras (Kinect), in which the intersection of the images was later put together to a three-dimensional volume (3d point cloud), so we were able to use the collected data throughout the further process. The three-dimensional image allowed us a completely free handling of the digital camera, without limitations of the perspective. The camera also reacts to the sound and supports the physical imitation of the musical piece by the performer. She moves to a noise field, where a simple modification of the random seed can consistently create new versions of the video, each offering a different composition of the recorded performance. The multi-dimensionality of the sound sculpture is already contained in every movement of the dancer, as the camera footage allows any imaginable perspective.

Chopchop Dancer

Tes Elations – Visceral

Tes Elations has just released the official video for their world music infused track, Visceral. Produced by The Indie Workforce, the video features CalArts dancers under the choreography of Linsdey Lollie, starring bandleader Barrie as the Blue Deity getting ’em all riled up.

Oftentimes people group me into the category of people who only like electronic music, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! What I’m looking for is new timbres, new combinations of sound, and it just so happens that tends to come from the electronic sector. With this track’s incorporation of world percussion, crazy string harmonics, and lush production, I get that satisfaction from a completely acoustic work. The video is brilliantly shot, the music is powerful, and the performances are superb. Watch for their album release July 24th!

Tes Elations – Visceral (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) from the Indie Workforce on Vimeo.

Quixotic on TED

An outstanding mulitmedia dance performance from Quixotic involving foreground projection, live processed violin, wire aerials, and wonderful choreographic performance. My only question is, if they can project in bright colors as shown during the violin piece, why does most of the projection stay mostly in that same cool blue? Ah well.

Above It All

My collaboration with Norwegian choreographer Cesilie Kverneland. Just try not to think of gorgeous snowy landscapes while experiencing this dance. It begins with falling air, then develops into a distant, undulating organ. Thin, beautiful bowed marimba (thanks Dan Ogrodnik!) takes us through some thoughtful swells, then the piece becomes more rhythmic as the electronics start to take off. Manipulations of preceding sounds abound, a synth wakes you from your reverie, only to settle down once more, fooling the listener into complacency. The synth hits again, even louder this time, but the payoff comes in the form of beats and wobbles in a just-not-quite-right 8 1/2 over four. The poem which helped inform the choreography is read in its native Norwegian, and then the ambience returns, larger and even slower than before. The final bass hit is so thick and so deep, you can see it vibrate the camera lens at 10:05.

The movement is incredible, reminiscent of the Butoh tradition, including the full white body paint. I’m very proud of this piece and look forward to more collaborations with Cesilie!