Object Dialogues (2016)
13 Performers with Objects, Lights, and Instruments
Object Dialogues is a composition for 13 performers that consists of a series of composed actions and events that explore the musicality of non-musical actions, the perception of space, the visualization/sonification of natural cycles such as heart beats or breathing, the objectification of instruments, and the instrumentalization of objects. Throughout the piece, the performers interact with a number of objects, ranging from the exotic to the banal, revealing the performative potential of the things that surround us. The performance venue is continuously shaped and re-shaped through shifting light, moving sound, mobile performers, and both vertical and horizontal spatialization. The intended result resembles a living space, changing and reacting to external factors imposed upon it. This examination of how light and sound interact with space, blurs the lines between theatre, performance art, and contemporary music; as compositional material is expanded to include actions beyond those traditionally considered to be "musical".
This work was written in partial fufillment of the degree of Master of Fine Arts in Interdisciplinary Studies at Simon Fraser University.
9/12/16 + 9/13/16 - Alexandra Spence, Liam Hockley, Janine King, Mia Hashimo, Martin Reisle, Matthew Horrigan, Matthew Ariaratnam, Alex Mah, Tegan Wahlgren, Elliot Vaughan, Marina Hasselberg, Dave Chokroun, Alanna Ho - Fei and Milton Wong Experimental Theatre, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
photos by David Cowling
This project was the result of a very long compositional process that involved the production of a number of "research performances".
The details & documentation of these experiments are included below:
4 Performers with Objects and Lights
During the Fall 2015 semester, I undertook a directed study with theater-maker Steven Hill. During this directed study, I produced two pieces as experiments to explore the ways I could theatricalize music. The first piece involved two performers with various sound-producing objects and two performers with light-producing objects. This piece was an exploration in the use of light as a compositional element.
10/19/15 - Maren Lisac, Alanna Ho, Matthew Ariariatnam, Matthew Horrigan - Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
3 Performers with Objects
The second piece from my directed study with Steven Hill involved three performers with various sound-making objects. The performers were each stationed in different rooms, with the audience in a fourth room. It began with a small score performed through Skype, which was then projected in the audience's room. At the end of this, the door was opened and the audience was invited to wander between the 4 rooms, exploring the space created by the architecture and the musicians. This piece was an exploration of the use of space as a compositional element. This performance was roughly 45 minutes long, unfortunately no documentation exists of this work.
12/10/15 - Megan Stewart, June Fukumura, Alex Mah - Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, BC
#3: Somewhere in the Middle
Solo Pianist and 3 Performers with Objects and Lights
Somewhere in the Middle explores the concert situation, lights, and the life of objects. This piece, alongside my experiments with Steven Hill, constitute a series of test pieces for Object Dialogues, my graduating project for the MFA program at Simon Fraser University. These pieces are places to develop material, test out ideas, and learn how to work with non-auditory material. This piece was composed and performed as part of the 'Concert as Theatre' Residency at the Banff Centre, February 2016.
2/26/16 - Hunter Noack, Meghan Ames, Heather Beaty, Ben Wylie - Banff Centre, Banff, AB - Presented as part of the 'Musical Encounters' series at the Banff Centre
#4: Shale Bergs
Solo Cello and Cassette Tape Loops
Shale Bergs was commissioned by the cellist Marina Hasselberg. This work explores the subtle transformation of harmonic material both through the musicians performance and their re-constitution via the obsolete and rather temperamental technology of the cassette tape loop. As the player moves from noise material to a single tone, the tapes record bits and pieces of the live material and play them back. An expanded version of this piece was used in Object Dialogues, with the string material exploded across the entire ensemble and the tapes replicated onto 4 different cassettes.
3/29/16 - Marina Hasselberg - Gordon Smith Gallery - North Vancouver, BC