Hi, I’m Jonas.
This is my masters thesis.
The name of my thesis is “Drums and Electronics”.
The main challenge with combining drums and electronics is how to control the electronics.
I involved a dancer, both to control the electronics and to make the performance more interesting.
WORKING WITH A DANCER:
First I had to learn about how to collaborate with dancers.
Professional dancer Anette Boge and I spent several hours doing improvisation techniques and analyzing the outcome.
We did some public performances.
PUTTING SENSORS ON A DANCER:
Anette landed a half-year contract in another city and I was able to get another professional dancer, Hedvig Bang, to take her place in the project.
I wanted Hedvig to literally pick up the sounds I make and stretch them with her hands.
I’ll say that again: I wanted Hedvig to literally pick up the sounds I make and stretch them with her hands.
Once more: I wanted Hedvig to literally pick up the sounds I make and stretch them with her hands.
This way the interaction is more obvious to the viewer.
To achieve that I had to do some research on different sensor systems and where to place to sensors on Hedvig.
We decided on THIS system from eowave and one touch sensor in each palm and a gyroscope on each wrist.
We started rehearsing.
ENHANCEMENTS TO BE MADE TO THE SETUP:
The endurance of the system has to be drastically improved.
The sensor cables are really fragile, especially in the joint between cable and sensor and between cable and connector.
Apart from that, we can probably decrease the setup time by making a custom suit with cables attached for the dancer.
I also want to be able to control how a sound engineer receives the sound from the drums and the electronics.
This by being able to choose not to send a dry signal and to apply effects at each channel/microphone separately.
On the audio processing side of the setup I will also look into alternative ways to manipulate the sound.
REHEARSING WITH DANCER, SENSORS, ELECTRONICS AND DRUMS:
We soon realized that the “stretching movement” was somehow limited, so we experimented with new things for Hedvig to control, ex when she puts her hands together it generates a sound that she can modulate.
We executed many of the similar exercises Anette and I had done, treating the sensor system as an additional instrument.
One of the main challenges was that Hedvig now had a direct impact on the music I produced and she had to act as both a musician and a dancer at the same time.
Luckily she got that quite fast.
We have done many improvised performances, ranging from 3 to 60 minutes, some better than the others and we have analyzed each second of every performance.
We soon established a good musical and visual communication and we started to get to know each others artistic intentions and taste.
COMPOSING FOR THE CONCEPT:
After getting to know the system, the concept, each other and the possibilities and challenges they brought along, I wanted to start composing for the project.
I want to reach other stages than the improvisation stage and have started to make pieces oriented more towards the club scene.
Here the structure of the pieces is fixed while the transition between the pieces is improvised.
I have started by arranging works of other electronic musicians for our project.
First I create the song, then we decide on what elements Hedvig should control or play and I play the rest.
THE FUTURE FOR SOUND PICKING:
I wish to keep booking this project to various stages and I’ve been thinking on touring schools to visualize some of the possibilities with combining art forms for young aspiring minds.
If our main focus after the final concert will be on strict compositions or improvisation is hard to know.
I guess it will depend on the gigs we are offered and what inspiration we stumble upon.
The final product will be an exam concert in mid-june.
We are preparing for that now and the performance will be filmed and published here.
This blog, which is the written part of my master’s thesis has grown to be quite large.
It is a database with research on the subject “drums and electronics”.
It now close to 30’000 words and countless hours of video and audio recordings.
BLOG – PRIVACY:
One of the main issues with presenting my thesis as a blog is privacy.
Privacy both for me and for those involved.
I have grown to accept total openness regarding publication of my work.
I now publicize work in progress witch is really bad, I than state why it is bad and how I am going to make it better.
This barrier was quite hard to overcome since ones normal behavior towards social media is to only present things you are proud over or makes people laugh, not things that are simply bad … But since the process is the goal and I want feedback on my process I had no other choice to do it and I definitely do not regret it now.
I have had to keep certain documentation offline since people involved didn’t feel comfortable with exposing them selves or with not getting paid for presentation of their work.
BLOG – AVAILABILITY:
The blog has now had around 5000 views from countries all over the world.
I really enjoy knowing that people can learn from what I have done, take it in other directions and engage in my process through comments.
This focuses my energy to present well formulated texts and to reflect upon everything I do.
It also helps me to keep writing continuously.
THE FUTURE FOR THE BLOG:
Writing a blog seems stimulating to the productivity in my artistic processes.
I probably should continue to use it as an artistic diary.
OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS:
I’ve created a twitter account for my masters thesis, there followers get notified when ever I post an update to the blog and they can spread it to their followers of they wish to, so I simply use it as a channel for promotion.
I do not re-post blog submissions on my Facebook profile, this because I try to keep the private me separated from the thesis … But I should probably do it anyways to further increase the traffic to my blog.