Re: Introduction

Darren Kelly (
Fri, 2 Jan 1998 12:51:11 +0100 (MET)

Dear Nick,

> I've never really been tempted
> to get dancers involved in the triggering and performance of music, which
> seems to surprise people.

Being like you a musician interested and dance, but one who WAS tempted,
I found your remarks very interesting.

Are you not tempted because you are sceptical about the results ? I
sometimes feel quite frustrated with my gestural MIDI controller because I
move between this instrument and other tried-and-tested ones (keyboards,
percussion etc.). It is simply easier to realise pleasing music with my
regular instruments. It is important to remember that it was not always
so easy to control those intruments in their early days. I think of
keyboardist Rick Wakeman developing his unique playing style to get the
best out of monophonic keyboards. I'm younger and spoilt, and can't
believe they didn't go crazy playing those things. Gestural triggering
instruments are perhaps at a comparable stage.

Or are you not tempted because you are intimidated by the technology
itself (which is hard to imagine given your other interests) ? I'd love
you to expand on this matter; in order to get funding and support these
devices MUST above all be tempting !

> I think my take on that is that it's crucial to
> come up with good quality material, both in terms of choreography and
> sound score, and I find it hard enough to integrate them coherently even
> when we're concentrating on our respective disciplines.

But these devices don't use choreography AND a sound score; the
choreography IS the sound score. If you attempt to "integrate" them
you will be disappointed. It's like shoving a square block into a round
hole. The first thing I realised with my device is that one must "compose"
through motion (although maybe this is just my style; although I compose
music in my head too, I mostly let my fingers inspire me a lot on
keyboards. Others might prefer to "choreograph" in advance.)

I don't mean to sound harsh, the following is just food for thought:

Thinking is terms of "respective disciplines" is probably a dangerous
assumption, even a failure to understand the whole notion of gestural
MIDI control. The "coherence" you mention is ALREADY THERE, it's built
into the devices. The moment you see the music/light/motion as separate
entities you introduce INCOHERENCE. The notion of respective disciplines
is only useful to the extent that people with strong backgrounds in
various disciplines will now work together very closely. And even that
will be less so in 20 years time, simply by virtue of the fact that many
will have by then spent most of their time working ONLY with dance and
music united.

Oh, and welcome to 1998 everyone.


Darren Kelly | | |
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