Snapshots of Change

Dance Choreography to Demolition Soundscape

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A few weeks ago John and I spent some time at the GSHS site recording audio samples of bits and pieces of the demolition. It was a lot of scraping through rubble sounds, combined with a bit of us walking around and trucks coming and going.

We edited up the recordings into small samples and gave them to the Year 9 Music class, with some very loose themes. Coming back a week later to hear their finished soundscape was amazing. They’d constructed a full narrative over 4 minutes, complete with recorded strings and percussion, and even some babble of the whole middle school at lunch. I must say we were quite impressed.

Last week we met up with the Year 8 Dance class, gave them the rundown on the project and played through the final soundscape. They immediately began throwing ideas around, relaying their experiences with having the school they thought they would be starting high school in knocked down, and being relocated to the old Midland Primary School.

This morning we’ve arrived to “film” the practiced dance piece. I say “film” because we are using an XBox Kinect camera to do the filming. I have written some software using openFrameworks and open source Kinect libraries to live green screen the dancers as silhouettes. The software detects person shaped blobs in the depth camera feed and cuts them out of the background. It makes for some interesting looking dancing and the students obviously had fun playing with it. One of the key motivations behind filming it all as silhouettes was to make the individuals more anonymous, more like any student rather than a particular one.

Below is some video recorded during a Year 8 Dance class practice session.

Author: Steve Berrick

Steve is a visual artist exploring interactive digital media technologies and video art using open source creative coding toolkits. He is a member of local art collectives ololo and G.R.L. Perth and is currently in the middle of a two year residency at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Arts in West Perth.

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  1. Pingback: A Day of Music and Dance in Midland | Snapshots of Change

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