Monthly Human Origami Jam

Glenna Batson is back in town and we have started a monthly Human Origami Jam at ADF Studios on Broad Street in Durham. Join us this Friday, February 15th for an exploration guided by the foldings of cells – the building blocks of nature. While Glenna guides you through a macroscopic to microscopic sense of the cell, dejacusse will sculpt sonic forms in the atmosphere of the room. The soundscape will swath you in harmonics, whispers, bounce and back to the ambient sound of the room. Sound as water is my theme, and since cells are mostly made of water…

Human Origami Jam

TODAY! Friday February 15th

4:30 pm to 6:30 pm

ADF Studios Broad St. Durham NC

Donations accepted

I would love to see you there!!

Human Origami Soundscape Dec 7 2018

Today at 3 pm, Glenna Batson will lead an exploration of folds and resistances. In her words:

What happens when awareness meets a curved line, a folding surface, a deepening crevice within the body’s interior and the surround? Is the quality of this first contact fixed or free? Is the conversation open or resistant? Is there a clear beginning and ending? It’s at this junction between folding and unfolding where new possibilities for negotiation arise – where a boundary can become more porous and transparent. In this session, movers will uncover the rub of resistance within themselves and open the conversation to new movement possibilities.

The soundscape for today’s playshop will be a piece from Audiorigami (Meditations on the Fold) interspersed with modular synthesis play in formless to form and back again. The Audiorigami track is called 11th Harmonic and consists of overlapping 11th harmonic intervals. This harmonic at extremely high frequencies has been shown to break up tumor cells! The Law of Octave allows us to bring the high frequency into the audible range, and benefit from the entangled resonance with the higher frequencies.

11th Harmonic is a kind of smudge soundscape. It has the capacity to clear stuck energy in a space, in a body, so is perfect for the suggested intentions Glenna has put forth. This piece has five or six movements, and the parts are layered in and shimmered over each other. This is an example of how I have created audiorigami to this point. Now there is new direction in the form of Ripplemaker – even the name suggests the Fold!

Ripplemaker is an iOs semi-modular synthesizer. Synthesizers play electrical signals or control voltages. These voltage-based signals are shaped by waveforms, oscillators, envelopes, filters and effects into sound sculptures. Modular synthesizers can illustrate the journey from the formless into form in amazingly beautiful ways! And the journey is accomplished through folds. The basic structure of this sound material is the waveform, and each waveform highlights the harmonic overtones in different ways. The waveshape is then propogated, expanded, attenuated, filtered, timbrally-morphed through oscillators, envelopes and filters. The journey is amazing and intense, so each mod synth excursion will be followed by a bit of room resonance and breath. Then 11th Harmonic will return.

Very excited to give this voice today at 3pm at ADF Studios. Please come and play with us!

While I Was Making Other Plans…

Yes, life is happening! Re-reading the first series of blog posts of 2015, some of the projects I wrote about are NOT happening, while new ones keep arriving. (I have a Halloween soundscape that I would love to perform somewhere in October.) For this summer, the work has come from American Dance Festival opportunities: Moving Meditations and two dance class accompaniment gigs have rendered new sound sketches that I am excited about. Two appearances at the Open Eye Cafe (so far this year) have rendered the idea of “nested” soundscapes which is in development. All of this happening in a stew of self-reflection on relationships and love stirred up by all the family connections of the summer.

My cohorts are coming over today. In preparation, I listened to  recordings from our past sessions with the idea that I would “direct” the movement of the soundscapes a bit more.  I listened to our first session from March with the thought that I would hear this “tremendous” difference between that session and our most recent one. What I discovered was that my cohorts are deep listeners, courageous explorers of the sonic Universe, and they “get” the soundscapes. This has been true from the beginning. WoW! I am overwhelmed and humbled by their loving attention. Less effort, less direction on my part, seems to be working well.

Still, I would like for us to have a language that would help us focus and talk about what we are doing together. Susanne and I discussed using some concepts from our Triangle Soundpainting days to guide our improvisations within the soundscapes.  Again, as I listened I discovered that the cohorts are using these concepts already!! Jim is the “pointillism” man, Eleanor wails the long tones on the harmonicas, and Susanne comes up with minimalist loops and long form improvisations.  And they ALL relate to each other and the soundscape in a variety of interesting ways. These people are amazing!

So, today, I want to give them examples of things I like from the recordings and find out what they are liking. Then we are going to use Soundpainting “what to play” ideas to constrain us in creative ways. I am going to use “Snake Dance” as the base; it provides a wide open field with a fun rhythmic drive.

Here are the eight “what to play”s derived from Walter Thompson’s Soundpainting: The Art of Live Composition, Workbook I

Improvise – monologic melody line, statements, phrases, ornaments.

Relate to – imitate, sync with, support another part

Synchronize – relate to another part in an oppositional/counter weighted manner i.e. fill in a gap, play loud against soft, pitch beats, same phrase slowed down, etc.

Pointillism – arrythmic staccato notes with a few long notes, played rapidly and with space.

Minimalism – continuous, rhythmic/melodic pattern; a loop.

Stab/Hit – single, short, punchy sound

Stab Freeze – like a hiccup or a stuck record; short repeated sound. Do this for extended periods for trance and short periods to wake up.

Extended Technique – play your instrument in an unusual, unique way. Find new sounds in your instrument.

Long Tones – rhythmic or arrythmic series of held pitches. (This makes nine “what to play”s.  I left long tones out of the mix! Sorry, Eleanor! They are back!)

We each had two constraints to play within. “Snake Dance” is a wide open field of sultry bass, deep kicks, and conga licks, so everybody feels a bit naked. Eleanor had the two relational  “whats” so she really had her work cut out for her and did an amazing job. Here is a snippet:

And another:

We came up with a different “what” sound called “fluttering”. This idea comes from the sound of the ukelele strummings during the soundscapes. Susanne has picked it up on the piano. Here is an example of that sound from another piece called “Undulatto”:

A few months ago, Eleanor suggested we do something with a waltz feel. I started a piece called “A Question of Waltz” with several stabs at sketches in 3 and 6 beats per measure. Most of these did not have a waltz feel unless you searched for it, which I thought was fun and quirky. Then I put together some sketches for Larry Keigwin’s ADF Sunday evening Community Dance Class the end of June. The  following is one of the sketches. This morning as I waltzed  around the studio to this piece I realized we might have our waltz. (This was recorded ambiently in The Sun(Ra) Room, and sounds best through speakers rather than headphones.)

In another exciting development, a friend has comissioned a piece for her upcoming fortieth birthday. More on that later.

New ideas, new plans for the remainder of 2015.


Experiments in Nested Soundscapes No.1

The abundance of summer has brought forth many wonderful creative connections and reconnections. In addition to the regular cohorts (Susanne Romey, Eleanor Mills and Jim Kellough), other sweet friends have been coming over to jam with soundscapes. We set up in the Sun{Ra} Room, and usually I record what we do. This week I had a special treat when Emily Smith came for dinner and to work her cello magic on the soundscapes.

Emily and I have spent many hours rehearsing over the past four years as members of The Full Shanti, a local kirtan band. Most of our kirtan arrangements were improvised, so we have spent hours improvising together as well. I culled an excerpt from the forty minutes or so we played to share with you. You will hear three different pieces, the first two are soundscapes. The last one is an orchestral ukulele chord progression that I intend to build a soundscape around. I love playing this theme soooo much. I really feel it in my heart. It is definitely inspired by my love for the theme from Downton Abbey and the soundtrack from the movie, The Piano.

Emily’s cello playing is like a big, warm hug, plus she loves to try extended techniques on the instrument AND add in percussive elements.  The two soundscapes we played were developed for Moving Meditations and an evening dance class I accompanied this past Sunday at the ADF (American Dance Festival) Studios in Durham, NC. During the Moving Meditation, Jody Cassell lead the group through movement and meditation awarenesses as Shana Adams and I filled the space with sound. Here is an excerpt from that morning with Shana improvising over the same soundscape you heard above in a larger room with people moving quietly about.

As you can hear, the soundscape has a different quality in each of these two space collaborations.

I am feeling excited about studying and molding the acoustics in the Sun{Ra} Room as a means of understanding room acoustics, mic placement, etc. I started analyzing it last year, but got pulled in other directions.

I do believe I have circled back around as Nested Soundscapes becomes one area of focus for my creative work.