THÆTA is the third performance of StratoFyzika’s Shadows Trilogy. With new collaborations in sound and interactivity (sensors building, coding), the concept still steeped in the subconscious realms and dealing with the ego: the dark and light shadow aspects of self (as in the first two parts of the trilogy) but also on the edge of the conscious, waking self; visions on the edge of sleep, whispy light shadows, multi-dimensional geometric objects, sudden sound as if from the halls of a mind in a dream state. 
This liminal zone is a state referred to as Hypnogogia. 

THÆTA embodies this borderland state. 

All merge onto the stage, interactively; body dynamics, auditory sensations and visuals function as the culmination of parts into one constellation in live performance.

Interactive Stratum

The aim of introducing interactivity in our work is to engage a live performative environment where the movement is able to affect the sound and the image as well as with those elements. To accomplish this task in a meaningful way, something beyond a 1 to 1 connection between sensors and effects parameters should be achieved. Data is not information until it is analyzed and transformed. In this direction, different pattern and gesture recognition algorithms are applied to the values coming from the sensors in order to extract the key steps out of the choreography. This technique allows the performer to establish a set of movements to create a new language within the scope of a particular performance.


Sensing Stratum

Body-mounted sensors: three-axial accelerometers and a gyroscope, are being used as the primary sensing mechanism for quantification of temporal variations in motion and gesture. THÆTA uses a specifically designed prototype of wearable electronic devices whose main module is based on Arduino Fio, and an x-bee module for wireless communication.


Sound Stratum

The soundtrack for THÆTA is composed of abstract atmospheres and drones which at a certain point morph into rhythmic patterns and lead the piece to its most intense conclusion. The sound synthesis process is connected to the sensors' signals and the overall quantity of movement is mapped to the occurrence of sound, which shapes refinements with movement data’s details. The sonification of images and movements aims to hypnotize the audience with various tricks, from noise cacophonies to otoacustic emissions - a physiological reaction to a couple of pure tones that makes the ear hair cells resonate and produce a tone.

The main sound sources have been selected from the archives of a free experimental sound internet library, curated and maintained by Thalamus Lab. The project launched an open call called Experimental Sound Lab and many artists from different countries contributed to create a collaborative library.


Visuals Stratum

The stage is designed by the visuals around and together with the performer, investigating the liminal zone through the use of live sketch techniques as well as morphing shapes modeling, audio-driven geometric patterns and pre-shot shadows characters appearences. The projections narrative takes the shape of a path, sinking into the black subconscious world, giving birth to a night creature, shaping its visions and then re-emerging to face the sharp cold touch of the light beam.

Over the whole performance experience, specific interactivity is being used to let gestures drive specific visual impressions. The interactive part of the visuals shows a complex system, where the interaction of a large number of individuals creates a new entity with a different behavior than just the addition of the single ones. This emergent behavior is modeled following the classic flocking rules written by Craig Reynolds in 1986 (separation, alignment and cohesion). To those we added a few more like a bounding area, a noise field or a perlin random walker.


Movement Stratum

The dancer’s torgue, bend, twisting and qualities of movement is the consequence of the mind directing the body’s reactions on/into the audiovisual environment. In THÆTA, the movement is focused on the embodiment of a character which is in contact with light and dark shadows, traveling through the hypnogogic state via an (imagined) Theta wave state. The choreography on it’s own is a movement map written through common brainstorm and then broken down into sections either with specific set choreography and/or an improvised score sometimes employing the Atavistic Technique.




credits:

Hen Lovely Bird : creative direction, movement writer / 

Alessandra Leone / creative direction, visual content / www.alessandraleone.com

Davic Nod / sound project / http://www.davicnod.com

Thomas Van Ta / creative code / www.thomasvanta.es

Giovanni-Marco Zaccaria / wearable sensors design & development

Jeanette Bruneau Rossow / costume design / http://www.treches.com/



Thanx to:

B-Seite festival crew
Dario-Jacopo Laganà // photography
Oriol Pastor //creative coding
L'estruch MediaLab - Sabadell

Audio contributors: Felix Blume,Jovica Storer, Dave Pape, Tessa Elief, Dizzy Banjo, Suonho, PJCohen, Virotic, Gabriela Parra, Freed, SubFeld, Sandyrb, Richard Frohlich, Batchku, Patchen, Than van Nispen, Melack, Marco Madia, PoisedToGlitch, Spt3125, Nirtana, Lost Chocolate Lab, J. Simon van der Walt, Koops, Milo, ERH, AlienXXX, Daniel Blinkhorn, Pluja de Metall, Katarrhaktes, Jef Aerts, JQR, David Flood, Kyle Evans, M. Wissar, Toko Okuda // http://www.thalamuslab.com/experimental-sound-lab



Special thanx go to the people who have been contributing to our crowd funding, supporting the production costs for the piece.


with love,
Tina Zimmerman
Wolfram Lakaszus,
Lisa and Jerry Hicks
Garth Webb
Alexandros Drymonitis
Alison Colman
Carly Pick
Margery Fairchild
Daria Kaufman
Gautam Agarwal
Savannah Lees-Haley
Michael Jenkins
Susanne Kirchmayr
Donna Larson
John and Jo Larson
Cio Dorbandt
Han Van Acoleyen
Mumu Mariane Charline Hernandez
Brianne Crabtree
Audrey Panven
Ian Smith-Heisters
Claudia Frickemeier
Tommaso Leone
Judy Kaufman
Helga Jäckel
Mary Franck

and our Private donators, of course.

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