shadows no. 6

live performance at Pixelerations [v.7], New Media Fringe Festival at FirstWorks Grant Recital Hall - Providence, RI, 10/1/2010

Program Note

Shadows no. 6 is a piece for belly dancer, RAKS (Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing) system, and EMMI (Expressive Machines Musical Instruments).  The RAKS system is a wireless sensor interface designed specifically for belly dance in collaboration with composer Steven Kemper.  This is the first collaboration featuring the RAKS system and the EMMI musical robots, PAM (Poly-tangent Automatic (multi-)Monochord) and CADI (Configurable Automatic Drumming Instrument).  The movement vocabulary is rooted in tribal style belly dance, which originated in the U.S., but is derivative of Raqs al-Sharqi (Middle Eastern dance).  Sinuous torso undulations, controlled hip isolations, and upper and lower body layering are just a few characteristics of the dance form.  Combined with strategic mapping in the software, the system allows the dancer’s movements to trigger the PAM picker and CADI arms to influence melodic contour and control rhythmic variation.  The mode of interaction between the dance and music references the slow improvised, meterless taqāsīm and the quick drum solo, two Middle Eastern genres that feature a dancer and drummer where the lines between leader and follower become indistinguishable.  In shadows no. 6, the RAKS system enables a solo performer to create this illusion.

Interface Design/Implementation/Composition: Aurie Hsu and Steven Kemper

Choreography, Costume Design, Dancer: Aurie Hsu

Hardware Development/Implementation, Max Programming: Steven Kemper



3/2/17: Talbertronic Festival: Clonick Recital Hall, Oberlin Conservatory, Oberlin, OH

11/15/14: Sonic Currents series at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Worcester, MA

12/4/10: Art Basel Miami Beach: Harold Golen Gallery, Miami, FL

10/1/10: Pixelerations [v.7], New Media Fringe Festival at FirstWorks, Providence, RI