14 March, 2008

long time, no blog

This is what awaits me in the morning...

Dear Inventive Reality Participants:

I am really looking forward to Saturday when we get together and do some collective soundmaking.

I have been asked by one of the participants what they can do to prepare. Here are some suggestions:

To Recap, the focus of the workshop is on merging the subjective and the objective. My starting point is that the poem you develop during the day will be rooted somehow in an event you've seen, an experience you've had or something that you've heard.

You might already have some ideas about something you're already working on that fits this description. If you do have something you are already working on, please feel free to bring it with you. For those of you who don't have an idea yet, there will be time to develop an ideas from the brainstorming, idea and sound gathering that we will be doing in the morning.

My method in putting this workshop together is a similar experience to what you would experience if you were working in a newsroom. You come in at 10 am, the assignment editor says "I need a story from you". S/he may have a suggestion or two, but will want to hear your ideas. That's one of the reasons you were hired .. because you bring new ideas to the table.

And then you have the day to get things done before you go to air at 4 pm (I won't be a harsh taskmaster about this .. if you don't get it finished in the time allotted, that's fine too. You can work on it in your own time after the fact. But we'll try to meet the deadline .. it will be more productive for you that way)

Morning: we'll brainstorm possible topics, talk about the kinds of sounds and issues in the immediate neighbourhood. then you'll go on an explore of the neighbourhood and collect sounds and voices for a piece. Don't worry if the idea takes a while to emerge .. I often start my pieces with a lot of walking around, looking and listening. Be patient, welcome the ideas and they will appear. The Muse will come when she is invited.

Here are a couple of ideas to get you thinking: the NAISA studios are in a neighbourhood which is becoming quickly gentrified. It's on the edges of a district known as Parkdale, a place historically populated by immigrants and mental patients (there is a major psychiatric facility not too far down the road). The artists moved
in a few years ago .. one of the hotspots in the area is the Drake Hotel .. that's a story in itself. There are also a lot of galleries in the area. But some of them are now being forced out too .. typical story .. the artists move in and the developers are right behind them.

For example -- If I was going to be choosing a story to do, I think I'd do a contrast of the fashionable Drake Hotel and the mental hospital down the street. What I'd be listening for are the sounds that speak of the affluence of the area, and the poverty that comes with mental illness. The affluent sounds should be pretty easy .. not so sure about the poverty sounds. there's an art gallery in the
hospital, so maybe I can capture that part of it by collecting some words of the gallery curator .. it's a bit sensitive so I don't know how that part will work out. Or maybe my own words will have to carry that part of it. That's the good part about this assignment .. it's just as much about your perceptions as it is about the people around you. In this exercise, you're not just reporting, and you're
not just listening to literal reality. You are shaping reality as you hear it and see it. (yes, you are allowed to use your eyes too. The challenge is to translate what you see into something you can hear)

Think of your creation as what you would get if you took a journalist and a poet to the same event and had them develop their piece together. See what I mean?

So what I want you to do in the morning is take out a recorder and explore. Talk to people. Record sounds. Pick up the flavour of the neighbourhood and then see what sparks your imagination in a way that you want to do a piece about it. or, you might find something that gels with an idea you've already been developing ...

You can either work in pairs or in groups ... we can figure it out when you get there.

Lunch -- we can figure out a place where we all want to go and have a working lunch (pay your own .. not included in workshop fee)

After lunch .. start working on your piece. sift through your ideas, sift through your sounds. Dub them on computer. Master sound artist Darren Copeland and I will be there to help you work through what you want to do and how to do it. Don't worry if you don't have an idea right now .. we'll do some targeted exercises aimed at getting your imagination flowing.

So I think that's it for now. If you have any questions, let us
know ...

Looking forward to seeing y'all at 10 am sharp on Saturday!


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9:28 PM  

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