I have been working on this project for over one year now. During my residency at STEIM in September 2007, I was focusing on the sound design, hoewever, there is still some testing and improvements on the pattern recognition algorithms to be done. The project is now assuming its final shape and a complete (A/V/Text) documentation is provided at:
..and here a short resume:
3rd. Pole – a Composition Performed via Gestural Cues
“3rd. Pole” is a piece for a dancer and a motion tracking system. The aim was to develop a gesture recognition system, so the dancer would be able to s elect the musical material accompanying his choreographic actions in real-time through a predefined vocabulary of full-body gestures. In a dance performance, there are usually 2 elements (visual and audible) that need to be arranged and put into a contrasting or harmonizing etc. context. The title 3rd. Pole should indicate the inclusion of a third, a haptic component contributed by an electronic current running through the dancer’s body, which is conditioned through the content of his choreography. Gestural cues induce the sound but there is also a second instance of it: the sound in its primary (the electronic form), which is in direct contact with the performer’s body, namely through a cable, he is holding in his mouth. This enables a different corporal perception and interpretation of the caused sound, since now the performer does not only have the audible but also a haptic reference – i.e. pain, caused by the electric current – for the choice of his following actions. The performer is exposed to a situation where he is in absolute decision power and needs to consider and outbalance all three elements (poles). Therefore, also the process of composition or better to say, the final arrangement of pre-composed material is only possible in real time, since we are interested in an alternative arrangement of the choreographic and musical progression. A pre-composed form or sequence of events would not make any sense, apart from satisfying possible sadistic tendencies of the composer.