Thursday, December 2, 2010

Collections: UMMA

I recently had the honor of participating in this project, created by sound artist John Kannenberg. "Collections: UMMA" is the live score for a site-specific sound and video performance based on the architecture of the University of Michigan Museum of Art.

Here's the original silent film-- click on through to the Vimeo page if you want to read the complete score, which includes directives like "if you can read any signs or indicator lights, do your best to obey them" and "when you see a bench, rest."

And here's a rough cut of our first performance:

This was a very exciting piece to be a part of. Mr. Kannenberg's projects are always sensitive and thoughtful; this was no exception. My role was to sample the sounds of performers and the surrounding space, then process and recapitulate them in the live setting. The experience made me think a lot about architecture's facilitation of a sonic experience, and inspired me to explore it further in the future.

One of my favorite aspects of this event: even people who were just passing by and had no idea what was going on enjoyed it. It was rewarding for folks with the intellectual background to appreciate the implicit and implied concepts, but it was also enjoyable on a purely visceral level. Nice.

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