Listening & Analysis

28/03/2017

As my live performance schedule reaches a natural pause, that is to say, no one is offering me any more gigs, I am taking some time to focus on some supplementary ‘listening’ activities.

The first is a fairly lengthy reflective analysis of my performances to date.

One of the reasons for starting this solo improvisation project was to improve my skills as an improviser, and I think a key part of that is having the ability to reflect upon, critique and evaluate my work – It would be easy to just continue doing whatever I have been doing, but if I want to improve then I think it’s worth taking some focused time to listen back through my performances and really evaluate what I did.

I also think it’s useful to write up this analysis in essay form as a way of developing the means to talk about my work. Generally I only talk about my work through ‘artists blurbs’ for gig listings, or in casual pre/post show chats. I think it’s good to attempt to describe my work, my methods, and results in a more formal, expansive way.

My plan is to publish the essay as a series of blog posts on here at some point in the future.

The second listening project is a gestural analysis project.

I’ve recently been admiring how artists who use physical objects in their performances have a rich variety of gestural sound at their disposal, and I have been considering how I could develop some of my own instruments to recreate some of those physical, gestural qualities.

The other week I spent some time making recordings of performances using various physical objects, and I am now closely listening to and analysing those sounds to see what I can learn.

I’ve found it particularly useful to explore the speed and pitch changing effects in Audacity, which allow me to uncover hidden details of the sounds.

So far this is turning out to be a rewarding experience and I’m quite excited to start putting what I have learnt into some new instrument designs.

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