Ensemble

1. Go-Pro perspective of improvisation ensemble 

This first experiment was made attempting achieve a first perspective view of an improviser working in a group. This video was made during October 2018 rehearsals of the Glasgow Improvisers Orchestra. 

Method-

Three GO-Pro cameras where worn on the heads of three improvisers in the ensemble. 

DPA microphones where attached to each side of their head, attempting to also get sonic perspective of each member. 

Ambisonic microphone was placed in the centre of the ensemble (which always rehearses in a circle). This was made in the attempt to create a recording which could subsequently be experienced through a number of perspectives. 

Problems- 

So much documentation was generated by this system, that it became impossible to sync and edit all the available material.  

The equipment was bulky and got in the way of performers playing comfort. 

The players chose to work on a graphic score piece with conductor in this section of the rehearsal, therefore the perspective of location for the performers gaze is less interesting. They are more pre-occupied  looking predominantly at the score and the conductor. 

2. Postcards In Attention- a. Science/Sound b. Notations

 

3. Taupe, ensemble - Science/Sound

Applying the questions in Postcards in Attention without notational intervention. This study is of the psychophysiological measurements of performers from the Newcastle based improvisation ensemble Tapue.

Tapue is a trio comprising-

Adam Stapleford: Drums

Mike Parr Burman: Guitar

Jamie Stockbridge: Saxophone

 

The group  “is built of influences drawing from free jazz and math metal to hip-hop grooves and post-bop, with a healthy dollop of skronk, all navigated down a path that seeks to blur the line between carefully constructed rhythmic compositions and explosive group improvisation” (http://www.taupetaupetaupe.com/index.html).​

Method-

Heart-rate bluetooth sensor was

worn by one member of the ensemble, 

in this case the guitarist, Mike. 

Notes were taken during the 

performance linking audience perspective 

thoughts, and were

synced with time-line. These can be

accessed here-​

Problems-

Difficult or impossible to sync data accurately

with current software, therefore the score,

data, and video are roughly

synced. 

Further options for studies in a similar style, would be to follow up 

with the performers in an interview, or feedback style report. At the moment

since the data is being gathered out of interest in practising the collection

methodology, the band was not approached for any further comment. If 

further work would be done with this specific ensemble, it would be interesting

to have more information about sections that are composed and those left 

free. It would be interesting to see what kind of effects these changes in style

had on the physiological response.  

4. Three Day residency at CCA, with ICEBERG collective, Glasgow, April, 2019

 

Zoe KatsilerouEilon MorrisPenny Chivas and Nicolette Macleod  started working together as a group in autumn 2017. Since then they have performed at For Fika’s Sake, the CCA and have  been commissioned to perform and facilitate workshops for the central and west integration network for International  Women’s Day.

Iceberg is committed to highlighting improvisation as an  exciting, dynamic and high skilled form. We want to create a monthly curated improvisation performance space and in the long term a  peer to peer workshop environment were multidisciplinary artists whether; early stage practitioners, students and  professional practitioners can work together. Creating a professional, encouraging and supportive environment space for  new working relationships that will feedback into the ecosystem of Glasgows art and performance scene.

Method-

Three cameras set up in various locations around the room where used to document the ensembles residency creative process. 

At all times there is a static camera and a hand held zoom camera for audience perspective detail.

Cameras where left running during chats after an improvisation

Dialogue that came out of this conversation was subsequently edited in text over the areas of the improvisation which were being spoken about. 

All video was edited and camera angles were chosen by the researcher, edited videos, including text overlay where shown to performers for their editing and further comments. 

Videos were edited using I-Movie 

Problems- 

As is common in improvisation, the performers did not interact as anticipated, playing only a little music. This ensemble looked 

to expand their practice and inter-disciplinary language, through verbal improvisations, sometimes not involving musical improvisations at all. 

 

Software being used at the time crashed and I lost all film edited, with text overlay. Consideration now as to whether the effort needed to re-create these files is redundant. 

The text overlay and annotation of the ensemble conversations is not simple in the current software used and is time consuming

So much documentation, it would be difficult to choose what areas to focus on. It is difficult to sync files and to be able to discern which areas are most useful for research. All total the documentation collection is above 50 hours of footage. 

5. Watching Paint Dry- Notations

6. Prosodic Improvisations and Stroop- Science/Sound 

 

7. Voice over experiments (One and Two) -Science/Sound

These experiments were interested in utilising the ‘think aloud’ approach (Fonteyn, Kuipers, & Grobe, 1993) common to other investigations of improvising musicians (cf. Bastien & Hostager, 1988; Doffman, 2011; Sawyer & DeZutter, 2009; Schober & Spiro, 2014). The approach argues that self-reported feedback given verbatim, provides more direct access to improvisational thinking than text based responses (which are too exposed to self-editing possibilities). 

Colin Frank- Percussion/objects

Maria Donohue- Piano

Experiment 1- Solo voice over, with comments from the other performer in response

The interest in this video was to get self reported feedback, via voiceover  of an improvisation. Colin spoke over the video of an improvisation (2 days after recording).

Method-

In Colins feedback, some of his comments dealt directly with Maria's playing. She types answers over the video, at certain points in response to his questions relating to her playing. 

Colin did both the voice over, and chose which camera angle is being presented when. He made camera angle choices first, as a first listen back of the improvisation. Then subsequently made a voice over the edited video. 

Four cameras where used, two canon c100, and two go-pro cameras for perspective of performers.

 

Editing was done in the software premier-pro  

Problems-

It was not possible to do directly after the improvisation, as uploading, syncing, and bouncing files to be ready to then be voiced over, took a few days, with current software. 

There was a large delay in the headphones of Colin's voice while he spoke, this made it both hard to think, and also made him feel  "like a radio show host" leading to an amusing perspective from the comments being made, but also effecting the nature of the response. 

The direction to the feedback was left specifically open, and no exact interview questions where asked of the performer but this is now seeming to be a more useful next step. This could ensure for more coronations across multiple voice overs. 

Experiment 2- Voice over in group 

The interest in this video was to get self reported feedback, via voiceover of an improvisation. This experiment was interested in the feedback of conversation between all performers involved (2 days after recording).

Method-

Maria edited the video angles before making voiceover

Together Maria and Colin watched back the video and made comments together about what they remember of the playing, and their opinions on the outcomes. 

Four cameras where used, two canon c100, and two go-pro cameras for perspective of performers.

 

Editing was done in the software premier-pro  

Problems-

It was not possible to do directly after the improvisation, as uploading, syncing, and bouncing files to be ready to then be voiced over, took a few days, with current software. 

There was a large delay in the headphones making it difficult to speak. In order to also both hear the improvisation, but not get the sound re-recorded into the voiceover, Maria and Colin had to share a set of headphones, meaning they both only heard mono tracks. Further thought is needed to solve this issue, especially if trying to record a larger group conversation response.

The direction to the feedback was left specifically open, and no exact interview questions where asked of the performer but this is now seeming to be a more useful next step. This could ensure for more coronations across multiple voice overs. 

Experiment in pycophysiological measurements 

These experiments are apart of the "science as sound, and sound as science" stream of this research. This research is interested in developing a working method which marries scientific research and artistic practice in an iterative cycle for self-propulsion. Scientific data which provokes musical response, musical output which provokes new scientific knowledge.