The autumn will be spent developing a new vocal composition with singers including the Bedford Creative Arts choir, Mel McCree from Bristol Feral Choir and Kerry Andrew. The piece will combine live singing with electronically altered voices and is inspired by how bats ‘Echo-locate’ by using sound to ‘see’ their surroundings.
I’ll be collaborating with technologists, Matthew Olden and Tarim at the Pervasive Media Studio, to create a new handheld device that will effect the sounds of the singers voices based on where they are positioned in the performance space. We are going to be working with the new low-cost mini-computer – the Raspberry Pi, and aim to incorporate the technology seemlessly into the performance.
In order to learn more about bat behaviour – (especially how they use ultrasound) I will be consulting with Professor of Biological Sciences Gareth Jones at Bristol University and the Bedfordshire Bat Group. I want to employ ‘bio-mimicry’ as a creative method; which is the study of nature to influence designs and rehearsal sessions.
On Sunday, we went out on a Bat Walk with Bob and Jude from Bedfordshire Bat Group around Priory Park, Bedford. We picked up a LOT of bats on our detectors, including lots of Soprano and common Pipestrelles, and a fair amount of Noctules. This was organised by Bedford Creative Arts and some members of the choir came on the walk, so we had an opportunity to chat about the forthcoming workshops.
This research and development of Vocal Migrations will culminate a work-in-progress performance in Bedford and a presentation and talk in Bristol during December.