Monday, 24 March 2014

Phil Dadson, Rob Thorne, Enrique Siques Perform

This blog post explores what I learnt and my thoughts on the performance 
by Phil Dadson, Rob Thorne, Enrique Siques I was lucky enough to 
see today.

This is a close upshot of Dadsons rock collection. The collection comes
in pairs, Dadson selects two stones that work well together to create sound
Although its a seemingly simple example of a found instrument its not random and 
Dadson aims to create a certain type of sound when selecting rocks. 

To further enhance the sound made by the stones they are submerged in water. Dadson believes this 
adds another dimension to the sound and and causes it to resonate. Watching these stones be activated 
was fascinating - Dadson was constantly moving his hand as he did so the sound 
created would alter depending on how much of the stone was touch his palm. He also Altered the 
sound by moving around the space as he 'played' the stones. 

This is a close up of Rob Thorne's selection of Taonga Puoro instruments. Thorne is part Maori, by 
learning about traditional Maori instruments it was a way of him finding his roots. 
Although these are traditional instruments he emphasised that the way he played them 
was very modern as we can't be sure how they were first used. As a sign of respect for the tradition and
his ancestors Thorne plays bear foot. 

Most of the instruments are flutes or horns, the sounds they created seemed to me 
instantly recognisable as Maori. The whistling was the kind of thing you hear in 
documentaries and at Te Papa - it was nice to see how that sound is made. 

Apart from the one or two percussion instruments bought in all of Thorne's instruments 
were activated by the mouth. All of them could make a vast range of sounds - many more 
than you would assume by looking at them. 

I personally found Enrique Siques noise maker the most fascinating. The range of sounds that can be 
produced from it was really amazing. The idea that every inch of it was a noise maker 
really got me thinking that the frame of my own noise maker also has the potential to make sound. 
Previously I had just thought of it as a structure that held up my noise maker.

The sound created by this when it was activated with a bow was phenomenal - it completely filled  the
 space to the point that you could almost feel the sound. I had a really strange experience that while
 listening I had one ear ringing from the sound and the other just listening to it. Siques sounds 
are very atmospheric, on  one hand they are soothing and on another the sound is so 
power full your forced to listen to it, my attention was held for the 
duration of the performance. 

All three performers used various ways/objects to activate their noise makers:

Rubber balls, metal, straws, plastic zip tie (also a noise maker of its own),
Traditional bow (like ones used with violins), the body, mouth, voices, hand held fan,
water, the space, microphone.

General notes and quotes from performance :

"Anything that vibrates has the potential to be an instrument " - Phil Dadson.
While developing a noise maker - first Dadson will find something that works acoustically he then
 enhances it electronically.
The soft pauses in the composition force the audience to concentrate and listen harder.
The composition built to a highlight - similar to what we are trying to create in our group.
While playing all three artists seem to get lost in the performance - eyes shut moving with the sound.
Each performance was about 10/12 mins long
Dadson was interested in how people try to justify sound and compare it to something they know.
I found myself doing this: Thorne's noise makers were very natural sounding. Some noises even 
sounded like bird call : Weka and Seagulls.
Advice " Don't limit yourself " - Enrique Siques.
Dadson: " Sound is an extension of your voice" its a communication.

Hearing a performance live is 100000 times better. You get a ringing in your ears, goose bumps, your 
can hear/feel the full force of the sounds. I also think you can feel more
of what the artist is trying to create. It also means you get to witness the subtlety of how some noises are
made. Plus there is the obvious that you get to experience the true raw sound not 
a recorded version.

Over all I found the experience really interesting, the power of the sound blew me away! I found a lot 
of inspiration for new ways to activate your noise maker and I now want to play with amplification as 
my sound can be very subtle.

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