Thursday, September 13, 2012

The House Lancaster

I recently attended a summer school at Lancaster Uni, a joint venture between Live@LICA and itd (imitating the dog) an avant garde theatre company I mentioned in a earlier post.  The weeks activities were recorded by Leo Burtin  on a dedicated blog The House Lancaster
The School was run by itd’s founder members Andrew Quick (director, dramaturg, scenographer) and Simon Wainwright (video designer) with composer (and itd collaborator) James Hamilton.

The school explored experimental ways of storytelling involving the layering of digital images, animation, soundtrack and text. The group comprised 17 people from a wide range of backgrounds including teaching, theatre, performance, fine art and computer science. Over the period of 5 days the group cooperated to produce a 30 minute performance from complete scratch.

The only clue given at the outset was that the theme was to be based on a house. The next step was each participant was asked to visualise a house with which they had an emotional connection and the rest of what happened evolved from that. As a source of ideas each person was given a small cardboard box which contained a selection of items that would be of help in completing the task like a pencil and notebook, a selection of nostalgic items and the bus fare into Lancaster where we were expected to collect photographs of houses and bits of houses and where possible sound and video clips. Oh yes there was a chime bar, one note from a xylophone, this would be used to contribute to the construction of a sound scape.

One of the most exciting learning experiences for me was the use of  Projection mapping a technique of moulding projected digital images to 3D surfaces. The whole production including the projection mapping is controlled by the software Isadora.  In this case we were going to project onto a mock up of the corner of a house complete with doors and windows.You can see the final 30 minute performance in this unofficial video by Julieann O'Mally.

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