Sunday, April 17, 2016

Invetigating sound

The Performance we did last week was an equal collaboration between all three members of the group. At first all we knew we wanted to do was Spencer's idea of getting a mike and trying to pick up sounds from everyday objects. After some thinking we came up with the idea of writing something down to pick of the sound of writing with a pencil and sharpening it afterwards. We felt as if this simple action captured the essence of the prompt which was to do a "repetitive everyday action ". We then decided that we wanted some planned chaos in the performance so decided to have Zara and I try and set up the sound board, so that it wouldn't be prefect and then have Zara or I use it during the performance, as we had no idea how it worked and no idea what would happen to the sound Spencer was trying to record and amplify. I feel as if it worked out rather well, as it was not perfect and the sound board did not work as perfectly as it would of, had Spencer been the one at the controls.  We then decided to wear all black so we would be uniformed and it would not detract from the sound or actions we were doing. However Spencer didn't have a black shirt, so  we switched to white and black instead, which as the audience informed us  added to the performance, as it allowed them to add to the story they were making up in their heads. 

 I think we were most successful with the "planed chaos" aspect as we really didn't know how it was going to turn out or even if we would pick up any sound.

I'm not sure what I would change if we did it again maybe have more things to pick sound from or switch everyone's role?  

During the work I felt unsure how the audience would receive the work and was worried that they wouldn't understand or like what we were doing.

Overall I liked how it turned out and getting to hear what the audience thought was interesting and very informative!

Below is a score and the paper I was writing on which I  received instructions to write about a childhood story. 

Video and pictures will be posted soon! 

Zara Anderson
Kristal Viera
Spencer Rudnick

Before beginning:
      Place a pencil, a pencil sharpener, and a sheet of paper on a table.
      Place a microphone, an XLR cable, a delay pedal, an echo pedal, a distortion pedal, a mixer, 8 patch cables, a lamp, a power strip, and a speaker on the other end of the table.
      Plug the lamp and the mixer into the power strip, and plug the power strip into an outlet. Point the lamp toward the section of the table with the writing implements.

The performance begins when the light is turned on and the mixer begins recording.

For one minute, each performer takes turns plugging cables into things, flicking switches, etc. By the end of the minute, the sound system should be set up in such a way as to reinforce the sounds heard by the microphone, with the option to pass them through each effect pedal.

Kristal sits down in front of the pencil, sharpener, and paper. Spencer holds the microphone to record the sounds made by Kristal using the pencil. Zara turns knobs on the mixer and effect pedals to affect the sound.

Kristal, with great force, writes down a memory from her childhood. Eventually, Kristal should apply enough force to break the pencil lead.

Kristal sharpens the pencil until it is satisfactorily sharp.

 The light , mixer and speaker are turned off.  We all stand together and bow



  1. Excellent work! The photo documents are very good as is your score and the "residue" of the paper you were writing on. Thinking about future pieces -- how you could add to this one -- sharpening the pencil -- you could have a bushel full of yellow pencils and have one or several people continually sharpening the pencils -- you could use an electric sharpener for more sound? Although I really like the manual one - I would like a manual one that is larger. also exaggeration is something to consider: piles of paper? The uniforms were a very good choice as was the strong and vintage looking light and chair.

  2. I really loved seeing what you wrote during the performance. Initially, I thought you were just writing down nonsense or scribbling. But I'm glad we got to see that there was more to it than that. I also really enjoyed how you didn't let Spencer run the show with the electronic elements of this piece. I like the haphazardness of the set up, and that you had no idea if it would work or not. Also, you guys all dressing similarly helped the piece too. It added to the story as you said, and it made you all appear to have equal importance in the piece. Overall I really enjoyed your piece, but I would have liked to see the audience involved more! Break through that fourth wall and bring us into your performance. Hearing that frequencies generated by everyday things were picked up by the mic was cool though! I didn't know something like writing on paper could sound so cool and distorted, or even hair! I am glad you distorted the mic too because if we had just heard the amplified sound of the pencil writing on paper, it would have greatly lessened the absurdity of the piece. Great job guys! Excited to see what you do next!