Dance collaboration

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The theme in which the collaboration settled on gave a great chance for expression from both dance and music. The piece evolves around Sarah’s experience of being hit by a priest whilst she was riding her bike. She broke a leg and lost a tooth and as a dancer this had a big impact upon her, therefore the piece moves through the incident and onto the recovery process. An in depth plan was draw up at the beginning of this decision and although the plan changed, the process allowed for us to discuss what sound material we wanted. The beginning section of the piece takes a very literal approach with an almost narrative based composition, however the second half is a lot more driven by emotion and atmosphere.
The bike was a really interesting sound source, with the many different sounds that can be produced from it. This allowed for the composition to be quite detailed, with tiny clicks placed in clusters to try and represent the feeling of movement. The narrative is that the dancers are on bikes at the very beginning section, however I did not want to portray this literally and therefore accumulated sounds that relate to a bike to give the impression. This was also aided by the atmospheric traffic sounds which where untouched in the editing process to give a sense of reality.
The build up to the crash starting at 1:36 was a point where I felt I could express my interpretation of the incident through the music. The faint sound of church bells at 1:39 represent the fact it was a priest that knocked her off her bike, whilst the other sounds are more related to a crash. The screeching sounds where created with a hot water bottle being scraped across a wooden surface and the bike brakes where sourced from a bike. To add a more realistic effect EQ’ing the bass to be more prominent and time shifting the screeches to draw them out made the section sound a lot more dramatic. The high-pitched noise, which then follows this section, represents the noise Sarah heard after the crash and was created on a Synthi AKS.
The bone crunching section at 4:43 was a moment that I wanted the dancer to have a strong connection to the sounds heard. The source of sounds to represent the bones crunching was sourced from somebody eating a polo, snapping chocolate, crunching biscuits and also the sound of fingers clicking. The collection of sounds was then closely mapped to the movements I had watched and videoed the dancer doing.
The ‘I told you’ section beginning at 4:15 is accompanied by horrible scratching noises created by scraping a plate. This again represents the horrible emotion of frustration and feeling uneasy.
The piece then moves into the final section of the dance, which represents the adrenaline and recovery after the accident. In order to represent this I used a number of synthesisers in Logic Pro to create a ‘bassy’ adrenaline feel. These where then further modified in Pro Tools with EQ changes to pick out the high end of some synths to create variation such as 7:59. This is the same synth recording however the high end has been picked out and layered over the original sound. 6:52 marks the section where the adrenaline is running through them and this is represented by the almost electric shock type sound. This was produced by taking a small section out of a synth and pitch changing it. Enveloping the sound to be shorter and pitch changes gave a variation of these small sounds.