Following last April’s performance of Quantum Monk II at Link’s Hall, choreographer, Rika Lin and I have been working a new variation for live performance.
“Flying Monks” is the name Rika chose for the set of suspended amplified oscillators I built last year for that performance that also also featured my live performance with the Springboard. While work-shopping the piece we came up with the idea by using sound design and music as an integral part of the choreography.
In theater stage performance, the noun form of “fly” refers to a system of rope lines, blocks, counterweights and related devices to simulate flight, be that curtains, lights, scenery, stage effects and, sometimes, the actors. Our idea is also modeled after Gordon Monahan’s “Speaker Swinging” (1982), a work in which the sound is produced as much by tones emanating through several loudspeakers driven by audio oscillators as much as it is by the motion of those loudspeakers as they are swung around in the room by people/performers. The “monks” are a reference to a Japanese custom of making talisman to ward off rain, accompanied by a sung referring to the monks who then are hung on trees. It’s a bit morbid but at least our monks get to fly.
This year, I have modified the design of my small oscillator-driven loudspeakers to optimize certain features of last year’s prototypes.
The “version 2” and “version 3” Flying Monks will feature in these upcoming venues this year in Chicago:
- High Concept Labs Open House at Constellation | Links Hall, April 11
- Beyond The Box II ~ Yu (遊) in Bridge Dance Festival at Links Hall, May 4–6
- (Private viewing) Dance Center of Columbia College, June
- Chicago Dancemakers Forum SHareOUT! at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, August 24
- Elevate Chicago Dance 2018 at the Chicago Cultural Center, October 21
Below is an look inside High Concept Labs and the process behind filming the video component of “Yu” by Yoshinojo Fujima (Rika Lin) at the Mana Contemporary.
Rika Lin describes her ideas about dance and the current work. Heard in the soundtrack sounds from my performance with her in 2017.