Sound in space

March 7, 2012

This past Monday I accompanied other members of my Video Art and New Media class to watch William Forsythe’s choreography in Rand Hall. Broc, the dancer who was performing the choreography, had what seemed to be about 50 pendulums hanging from the ceiling surrounding him. He flitted in between them utilizing the apparatuses at times and avoiding them at others. At first, I really wasn’t sure what I was watching. His movements were extremely unique. The piece itself was titled “Everywhere and Nowhere at the Same Time.” I found myself paying extra attention to how the entire piece sounded. At first, the dominate sounds were the cars passing by outside the building, people moving in their seats, the sound of the door opening and closing as people were coming and going. It was difficult to tune these out. However, I started to notice the sound of the dancer’s feet as he was moving about. With some of this movements, the noise his feet made reminded me of a basketball court and how players’ shoes squeak with every short stride. He twisted the strings suspending each pendulum together at times and when they spiraled close enough to touch each other, there were clinking sounds throughout the room at random intervals. The most interesting sounds were the ones the dancer made himself. Whenever his arms would cut through the air in short, quick movements, he would emit a swooshing sound using his vocal chords. Randomly, he would also make short high pitched sounds almost like something you would hear from a machine that beeped. I wasn’t sure why he made these noises and what they meant in relation to the piece as a whole. Did they somehow relate to the pendulums? Were the sounds part of him making the most of the space? How do they relate to the title “Everywhere and Nowhere at the Same Time”? I was extremely confused by the entire piece, though I did thoroughly enjoy it from a artistic standpoint.

On another note. A friend of mine does a radio station for Cornell. He focuses on music with a vast array of sounds that tend to be a bit more “obscure.” I wanted to share his website with you all that has links to some sound bytes that I found interesting. Some I had heard before but a lot of it I had not. It’s called SonicLandscapes. Hope you all enjoy it!

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