Orientation session and first part of S’ODINONSUONARE residency

#FLEX

Alessio Mazzaro – Marco Campana

We were looking for a collaboration to improve our project Flex – a study about the relationship between choreography and music composition using wifi flex sensors – and so we get involved with STEIM. After have talked with Marije Baalman we split our residency at Steim in two part. The first one was January’s Orientation session with two additional days of consultation and rehearsals. The second one will be in March or April, it will last for 4 or 5 days and the project will be further developed in collaboration with a dancer from ICK Amsterdam. STEIM will be support by way of providing studio space, technical and artistic consultation.

We came to Amsterdam with the grant D.E.M.O./Movin’ Up 2013 – International mobility for young Italian artist, that supports our project Flex, and after the three days of Orientation session we had the time for working in studio 2 and shared ideas and doubts with Marije.

At STEIM with started to create some audio set to use with the sensors and also some choreography directions. Here there are some pictures of the work done during the first part of the residency.

At the finish of the second part of the residency we want to show in Amsterdam the results as a first study of our new work. We are now looking for a second residency to take when will finish the one at STEIM, so we can complete the performance and then show it in some festival in europe and Italy as well.

During the rehearsals we eventually focused on sounds used in radio drama, thriller movie and old cartoons movements.

video: steim rehearsals in studio 2

The first time I heard about STEIM was from a professor at conservatory in Padova; he was talking about the crackle box. Two years later I was working on #Flex project and decided to learn more about STEIM research on electronic instruments and I found a lot of informations specially in Projects and Products site pages.
I expected a presentation more about artistic results of people working at STEIM in fact I loved the talk with Anne LaBerge about her creative process with Kyma.
It was great to find people so involved in electronic music research; Marije Baalman gave me good suggestions on electronic issues and also on data processing for my project, now I can improve my system and explore new creative ways.

#Flex project deals with sound and body motion. If we start from the body aiming to sound the first action can be listening to heart beat or clapping our hands or producing sounds with our voice. Second step is adding something external that can interact with us producing sounds like an instrument.
The research begins building an instrument you don’t play with your hands, like most of musical instruments are done, but with arms and legs. By this way we can amplify the motions of the body playing and put this at the same level of producing sounds; now we have a new interaction between dance and music.


The device we use consists of sensors (variable resistance flex sensors) capable of providing a numerical value corresponding to their same flexion. This data are adapted with op.amp. circuit and transmitted through a wireless system (xbee pro s1) to a computer. Wearing these sensitive elements through the sleeves on the elbows and knees you can get a value that corresponds to the bending of the limbs.
The processing is done in software through the use of software Max / MSP connected to Ableton live. It’s possible to generate sounds that vary according to the movements of the arms and legs of the performer. You can use the data on the position of the limbs or their speed.

January – 2014

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