20 March 2019
Dr Timothy O’ Dwyer, HoS Music, LASALLE
Susan Sentler, Lecturer Dance, LASALLE
Dr Darren Moore, Lecturer Music, LASALLE
Dr Stephanie Burridge, Independent Scholar, Singapore
Monads and Psychic Geometry: Manifesting Corporeal Musical Events in The Fold
Dr Timothy O’Dwyer
The Fold is a collaborative composing project that has been staged in Singapore and Cologne involving musicians from disparate cultural and stylistic backgrounds. The musicians come together to compose written scores that are then used to improvise with during performances by the same musicians. This paper discusses the project as a musical manifestation of Incorporeal and Corporeal events using Leibniz’ Psychic Geometry, Musical Monads and other conceptual trajectories found in Deleuze’ The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. “I have a body because I have a clear and distinguished zone of expression. In fact, that which I express clearly, the moment having come, will concern my body, and will act most directly on my body, surroundings, circumstances and environment.”(1) The musicians, who are monads, enter the project with distinctive musical and cultural backgrounds with a “number of unique, incorporeal, ideal events” that have yet to put bodies and instruments into play within the process. Their past experiences, are “primary predicates that constitute a zone of clear expression, or subdivision.”(2) These individuals, express distinctive qualities through their interaction with their monad-instruments. However, whilst the individual and the instrument are subdivisions of the world, each one has traces of expressive qualities of the entire world within each subdivision – the outward folding of the world within. These ‘worldly’ elements exist as subliminal ‘perceptions’ or ‘representatives’ – as minute perspectives within each musician-monad. “…a lapping of waves, a rumor, a fog, or a mass of dancing particles of dust.”(3)
HumanOrigami, meta-levels of embodiment
As a starting point for bodily exploration, derived from the writings of philosopher Gilles Deleuze, specifically his concept that the smallest unit of matter is not the point, but the fold (Deleuze 1993); Human Origami evolved over two years of applied dance research. Two dance educators, Dr. Glenna Batson and Susan Sentler, created a sensory-rich, immersive landscape for somatic learning. Designed to enhance conservatory dancers’ perception and attention to the dynamics of bodily folding, the improvisational structures gave rise to an embodied ontology of becoming whose unfixed boundaries were iterative, non-linear, and liminal. The multiplicity of movement patterns emerging from folding gave way to a fractal field of potential which can redefined bodily dimensionality. This presentation will focus on the birth of our research, sharing initial research concerns and reveal details of exploratory workshops conducted.
Dr Darren Moore
cellF is the world’s first neuron-driven synthesiser. It is a collaborative project at the cutting edge of experimental art and music that brings together artists, musicians, designers and scientists to create a cybernetic musical entity. cellF is an autonomous, bioanalogue electronic musical instrument designed to operate independently and interact with human musicians. It posits a future where the musician and musical instrument are one. A scenario where personalised ‘bio-instruments’ that contain unique signatures become possible. The instrument is controlled by a bioengineered neural network or ‘brain’ derived from skin cells using induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technology that is housed in a custom built synthesiser ‘body’. Artist Guy Ben-Ary envisioned the project to realise a juvenile dream of becoming a rock star by creating an bioanalogue alter-ego to perform with other musicians. This fantasy has played out on the world stage seeing collaborations with leading improvisors such as Han Bennick, Jaap Blonk, Okkyung Lee and Chris Abrahams amongst others at international music festivals and gallery spaces such as Ars Electronica (Austria), CTM Festival (Germany), Mona Foma (Australia) and Kapelica (Slovenia).