I have been meaning to write a post around the word ‘hiatus’ for some time, as it seemed to be the best word to describe where I am with my work at the moment: and then the EU referendum hit! This has brought up so much sadness, many contradictory thoughts and strong emotions, much soul searching – and will undoubtedly feed into my next piece of work. But in the meanwhile… a hiatus… in work, in life and in this blog. [Image]
News today that even Antarctica is now experiencing 400ppm CO2 levels. We are truly Generation CO2! We hear a lot about the stress it is putting on our environment, the new volatility in weather, the political stress as resources shift/become scarce; but what about the cultural stress, how we represent the world to ourselves? That’s where I am headed next… [Image from NASA animation]
Simon McBurney in The Encounter at the Oxford Playhouse last night: a master class is vibrant, visceral, thoughtful relevant theatre. McBurney himself was, quite literally, the encounter. And for me, one who uses a lot of technology in their work, a master class also in the soulful use of technology; never being swayed by its inherent possibilities beyond how it could be bent to his playful creative purpose, to his storytelling. There was loop pedal, some neat 3D video mapping, a seamless multilayered soundscape, microphones of various descriptions, pitch modulation and reverb, to mention just two filters, and some pretty cool stage lighting. This guy is in a class of his own. I first saw him in The Street of Crocodiles about 20 years ago; he was brilliant then and remains so. The performance last night was followed by a talk between McBurney and the scientist Marcus de Sautoy. What a disappointment; de Sautoy had the cheek to use the opportunity to publicise his new book. Boo!
I am looking into sound (or maybe I should say listening in) to low frequency sounds, as used so effectively in many movie trailers: that deep boom or swish that you feel rather than hear. I want to use these ‘subwoofer’ sounds as a balance to the flute playing of Tadek, but there is lots to learn before I get to that point, and my research brought me to the French sound designer Nicolas Becker and his tip for learning about sound: “watch thousands of films, read books, listen to music, walk in nature, stay curious, work a lot, practice a lot, learn a lot of different techniques in order to be able to forget them…” I particularly like the bit about learning a lot in order to forget. I can identify with that. [Image: sorry, I couldn’t find who to credit for the pic.]