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While walking

October 27, 2015 Leave a comment

While walking is a research project headed by Pohanna Pyne Feinberg, who lives currently in Montreal, and did a residency at the Dare Dare centre.

While Walking is a research project that explores walking as an artistic process and practice. How can walking contribute to the creative process? How can we understand walking as an art form? How does interaction with public space influence walking art practices? In what ways does the urban environment become a source of inspiration, distraction or perhaps intimidation? And, more specifically, what experiences do artists who are women encounter as they make art that involves walking the streets?

While Walking is an opportunity to learn from Montreal-based artists who walk as an aspect of their diverse art practices. Excerpts from recorded conversations with the artists will be shared in the format of an audio walk designed to enable the listener to reflect on the artists’ ideas while walking through the city.” While Walkingproject

Le terroir sonore du phare de Lachine / The sonic terroir of the Lachine light-house

March 1, 2013 2 comments

Le terroir sonore du phare de Lachine / the sonic terroir of the Lachine light-house.

http://facs-newmedia.finearts.yorku.ca/andra/phare/terroir.html

This piece is based on soundwalks around the Lachine light-house just to the west of Montreal, 1999-2000. The water and pier surrounding the light-house invite all kinds of crossings: people eating lunch, fishers, sunset-watchers in their cars, ducks, swallows, boats, gulls, sparrows, wind gusting, waves and waves from the end of Lac St. Louis, sometimes frozen into fantastic ice-cubes that tinkle riotously against the rocks, sometimes coated with a thin creaking skin of ice. The light-house stands tall, blinking. Mostly this sentinel is locked but one day it is possible to enter. I remember how strikingly audible the presence of the light-house interior was. Inside, I wanted to name it: “this is the…” but my voice trails off as the rounded metallic interior speaks back to me. “Hello?” Walking by the shore, I discover an old chain and lift it up and down on the rock, imagining the many steel hulls that were tied to this bank with such chains, when it was an industrial port. The voice of the fisherman brings me back to the present “Bonjour!”

McCartney, Andra. “Le terroir sonore du phare de Lachine.” Peripherique. Curated by Nicole Gingras. Groupe Intervention Video, December 2000. http://www.givideo.org.

La marche sonore comme processus d’interaction à Dance Dramaturgy (Université York, 2011)

December 12, 2012 1 comment

(An English version of this text can be found here)


« Soundwalking Interactions ». Présentation, installation et performance, par Andra McCartney (artiste sonore), Don Sinclair (artiste interactif), Susan Lee (chorégraphe), ainsi que Tracey Norman, Bee Pallomina, Shannon Roberts et Jesse Dell (danseuses). Conféremce Dance Dramaturgy : Catalyst, Perspective and Memory, Université York, 23 juin 2011.

Les membres du groupe ont d’abord participé à une marche sonore dans un parc de Toronto. Andra McCartney, qui initiait la marche, s’est ensuite retirée par moments po ur encourager le groupe à prendre le contrôle de la marche. Ces changements de leader et de directions ont créé des effets de masse qui ont ensuite été repris dans la structure improvisatoire de la danse. Le groupe s’est arrêté quelques instants pour discuter de la marche, puis a continué. Le lendemain, l’enregistrement de la marche sonore a été publié en ligne et partagé entre tous les participants. Le groupe s’est rassemblé et à procédé à une écoute en groupe, faisant des pauses à toutes les dix minutes pour des fins de discussions. Celles-ci ont ensuite permis de produire un montage sonore pour la performance. Suite à a la première répétition, la chorégraphe a indiqué le besoin d’obtenir plus d’extraits sonores, autant pour les danseuses que pour les besoins de la chorégraphie.

La structure de la chorégraphie de Lee était basée sur de courts segments de 45 secondes à 1 minutes, entre lesquels elle laissa des espaces d’improvisations gestuelles, le tout résultant en une performance d’environ 16 minutes. Les mouvements des danseuses étaient basés sur l’expérience de la marche sonore ainsi que la nature des extraits sonores conservés. Les danseuses se déplaçaient dans l’espace performatif en se suivant l’une derrière l’autre dans un jeu d’échanges, de poursuites, de pauses, de boucles, articulant l’espace et les sons par des gestes de staccato, des changements de tempo et des déplacements de masse. Tous ces mouvements se traduisaient en une multitude de formes et de couleurs projetés sur l’écran géant. Cette installation constitue une exploration corporelle des possibilités acoustiques d’un lieu circonscrit. Cet exercice révèle aussi les relations entre les mouvements du corps et le sens du lieu. Par exemple, l’absence momentanée de mouvement peut provoquer soit le silence ainsi que la disparition de traces visuelles à l’écran, soit l’intensification de sons qui autrement auraient été atténués par le mouvement. Chaque extrait, chaque lieu est porteur de possibilités quant aux articulations corporelles de l’espace à travers le son. Les mouvements produits dans un espace spécifique révèlent sa forme et ses frontières. Les danseuses explorent cet espace en activant chaque son (volontairement ou non), en retournant aux sons jugés plus évocateurs, dérangeants ou intrigants, et en les combinant. Les mouvements s’affirment progressivement, gagnant en confiance, en gestuelle et en musicalité. Ainsi, la chorégraphie se développe en phases et en trajectoires définies à travers les mémoires auditives de la marche, l’espace circonscrit de l’installation ainsi que ses multiples configurations sonores.

Ce texte est basé sur une analyse antérieure de l’installation, parue dans le Canadian Journal of Communication :

Paquette, David et Andra McCartney. “Soundwalking and the bodily exploration of places.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 37 (1), 2012: 135-145.

Soundwalking Interactions at Dance Dramaturgy (York University 2011)

December 12, 2012 1 comment

(La version française de ce texte se trouve ici)

“Soundwalking Interactions.” Presentation, installation and dance performance with sound artist Andra McCartney, interactive artist Don Sinclair, choreographer Susan Lee, dancers Tracey Norman, Bee Pallomina, Shannon Roberts, and Jesse Dell. Dance Dramaturgy: Catalyst, Perspective and Memory, York University, June 23, 2011.

All members of the group began by going on a soundwalk together in a Toronto park. Andra McCartney began by leading, but then held back in order to feel which direction the group tended at different moments. She then encouraged others to take over leadership. This shift in leadership and direction created different feelings of flocking that were later referenced in the improvisatory structure of the dance. The group halted part way through the walk to exchange listening ideas, then continued. The next day, the recorded soundwalk was posted online for download. The group gathered and listened to the whole soundwalk, pausing after every ten minutes to discuss what was heard. On the basis of this discussion, sound excerpts were edited for the dancers to use in the installation. After the first rehearsal, the choreographer asked for more sounds to be generated, based on the desires of the dancers and the needs of the choreography. Lee designed a choreographic structure that gave room for improvisation in gesture and movement within scored moments of 45 seconds to 1 minute in length, creating a piece in five gestural sections that lasted around 16 minutes. Movements were linked with the experience of the soundwalk and the attributes of the sounds. In the space of the installation, dancers walked behind each other, sometimes embracing each other, leading and following, circling and pausing, sometimes listening with eyes closed, articulating the space and the sounds through staccato gestures and changes in tempo, moving closer to each other and farther apart; all of these motions translated into swirling colours and shapes on the projection. The installation relies on a bodily exploration of acoustic possibilities within a circumscribed space. The exercise also reveals relationships between bodily movements and a sense of place. For instance, stillness could result in silence, as well as the absence of visual traces on the screen, or alternatively it could result in loud sound that would be attenuated by movement. Each case provided different kinds of possibilities for bodily articulation of the space in sound. Movements inside a given place reveal its shape and boundaries. Participants explore the space, activating each sound voluntarily or by accident, returning to the most appealing, disturbing or evocative sounds and mixing them. Movements become progressively more confident, musical, gestural. Thus the choreography develops into defined phrases and trajectories through the audible memories of the walk, the circumscribed space of the installation and its various sonic configurations.

The text in this posting is developed out of a former analysis of this piece in the CJC.

Paquette, David and Andra McCartney. “Soundwalking and the bodily exploration of places.” Canadian Journal of Communication, 37 (1), 2012: 135-145.