Sunday, October 12, 2014

Installation as an Immersive Score

Meru Set 1 - Back of Screen 1
 Before I write about my final installation presented at UOW, on this blog, i wish to focus on the musical aspect of the installation separately as a mirror from the way it was realised.

For the moment I resist classifying this as sound art for reason which I will explain. Usually from that perspective,  sound is an added element to a visual display. In this particular case i am entertaining the idea to look at in an complementary way.  Here the concept is to having the totality of an immersive space replace or act a the musical score.As I am not imposing sound into the space, I am inviting the participants to explore
 what is presented as options. This to me is more like a score.
Meru Set 2 - Back of Screen 2
This allows new possibilities not possible with conventional scores regardless of their format.  The idea is to immerse the performer in the score as opposed it being an object presented in front of one where the other surroundings are suppressed or ignored. It also omits the role of the score of something that is projected outward into the space since one is already inside of it. In this installation a participant is open to explore the totality of everything that is presented to them. It thus represents a totality in which the visual elements provide the stimulus for the sound.
Meru Set 3 -Front of Screen 2
Such a composition opens up new possibilities in terms of being open ended, without a fixed perceptible beginning and ending,  for varied number of players, and of  changing  players who might only participate in part of the total duration. The nature of the participants moving through the space thus liberates the concept of one person one instrument or set of instruments. In this sense it works toward a composition without an author or an anonymous one. The players though unlike in traditional western music do not bring instruments, something closer to how gamelan ensembles are fixed and thus a centre where people congregate. The corporeal experience and presence becomes the determination of how the work unfolds in the space which will be unique to each participant.

Meru Set 3 - Front of Screen 3
A composition nevertheless can be quite specific yet allows for each participant to take an active part in the create act. There is no separation between performer and audience. In this case, the instruments are predetermined and where they sound in the room is fixed. How they are arrange influences what a person might play next as well as providing self contained units even if the overall movement of the space is not. It is the unique structural possibilities of a certain class of microtonal instruments that allow for this type of interaction where strong acoustical realities can go from one end of the room to the other while still providing a local identity.
Meru Set 3 - Front of Screen 4
The installation incorporates a few of my instruments being used both in for their visual presence and as the sounds they produce.

Meru Set 3 - Shadows on Wall

9 of my Meru bars are used which are arranged in 4 sets of closely related pitches that cause beating. 

Meru Set 4- Back of Screen 3

 In the space, there is an over all placement starting from the entrance from low to high to correspond to the general character of the visual screens in which in turn is based on the space itself.

Meru Set 4 - Front of Screen 4

 What happens is that each visual elements such as the screen ( not that the score is limited to them) might be viewed from more than one perspective.

Meru Set 4 - Front of Screen 5
Also each instrument set will be a local point of perspective of the whole installation which will interpret even the same screen and frame and the shadows in a different way.

Meru Set 4 -View of The Tree
Each set will have available multiple direction to draw upon and even what is placed in back of the head  can continue to inform the participant.

The Tree - Front of Screen 5
 The sound of other instruments in the space extends ones vision and interaction around the corners of the space as well as invoking the memories from their location.

The Tree - Back of Screen 4
The instruments themselves can form apart of the score.

The Tree - Overall 

 The space or score in this case thus reflects a totality, a universe that one finds one is within. All elements one witnesses in the space becomes part of the score thereby increasing the means in which the score can interact.