Immanuel Hunte shares his experience with Ask Kæreby’s experimental sound workshops

During the month of November, Fresh Milk resident artist Ask Kæreby held a series of three workshops looking at experimental ways of working with sound. One of the participants, Immanuel Hunte, wrote about his experience with the workshops, as well as sharing two of the pieces he created based on what was discussed in the sessions. Read more below:

I attended a 3 day workshop, which was held by Fresh Milk via their Artist Residency Programme. Ask Kæreby, a Danish composer and sound designer was the chief facilitator of this particular project, being that it was about sound and sound design. I have to say that in my opinion, even though only a few people attended the workshop, it was AWESOME. Ask helped me to open my eyes to how sound can be used in unconventional ways to express one’s self creatively.

Over the course of 3 days we looked at the technical aspects of sound and talked about the the artistic and philosophical aspects of it as well. During that time, I gained an understanding about sound and sound design; ie. that sound does not only come from musical instruments, or an orchestra, or notes and pitches. Sound is present in our everyday surroundings and in our everyday lives, whether it is natural ( eg. wind, water, trees, animals) or generated/man-made (eg. engines, machines, traffic, interaction of objects). To sum it all up, I was informally introduced to the world of sound art: Sound art is a contemporary art form in which sound (natural or artificial) is utilised as a medium or a form of expression. Sound art comprises of different elements that are often intertwined eg. audio media, electronic synthesizers, noise music, acoustic or psychoacoustic art, to name a few. Sound art tends to be experimental in that it gives the artist a chance to stretch his/her imagination. I got to learn about the people who were pioneers in this sound art movement, such as Luigi Russolo, who composed for noise machines (which he created) and had members of a London-based orchestra play them, …….which did NOT go down too well with the traditional audience! Russolo at that time wanted to escape the confines of what his generation called traditional music.

There was also Pierre Schaeffer, who was into experimental sound in the 1940s and developed musique concrète. We listened to one of his manipulated recordings of trains. My favourite part was learning about Delia Derbyshire, a woman who was instrumental in the early days of the BBC in London in the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. She has been revered for being a pioneer in electronic music. This unique workshop consisted only of oscillators and various analogue machines. Music for radio and television was scored using only these machines, including sound effects. One famous example is her electronic rendition of Ron Grainer’s theme to Doctor Who, one of the first television themes to be created and produced by entirely electronic means.

Immanuel Hunte’s Soundscape

Also, during this time, the group was given assignments to record our environments, and to manipulate them in an artistic manner. The sounds I used were recordings of my toilet flushing, the washing machine, doors, a spray-can and my voice. Using what I learned in the workshop, plus my experience in making music on computers, I got some satisfyingly interesting results. I edited parts of the audio from my raw recordings and I applied some delay and reverb effects, as well as vocoder effects. The recordings were made using my phone, and the finishing touches were done in digital audio workstations called Propellerhead Reason and FL studio.

Immanuel Hunte’s Desert  Scape

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Thanks to all of those who participated in the sessions, including Annalee Davis, Adrian Green, Immanuel Hunte, Katherine Kennedy, Jesse Phillips, Melanie Springer and Andre Woodvine.

Adrian Green and Sky LARC’s Residency: Final Report

Adrian Green and Sky LARC share their final residency report on their ongoing film collaboration, which will be screened at Fresh Milk in 2014 upon its completion. Stay tuned for more information on this in the new year.

Thanks to Adrian and LARC for working with Fresh Milk on this project and concluding the local residency programme for 2013.

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It is over but it is not done.  We are in mid labour with the video for the poem H(art)d work, conceived with Fresh Milk.  It will be a bastard child; born after the relationship of LARC, Adrian Green and Fresh Milk has officially ended.  But many so called illegitimate children have risen to dwarf the stature of their peers born and raised in the standardised arrangement.  Jesus comes to mind.

However instead of having one earthly parent, this project has three.

We cannot say for sure that this video child is immaculate.  It has not yet fully emerged from the womb.  We can see the head though, and it looks to be well formed.  As this is the first video adaptation of one of my poems, I feel confident though that I will be able to say, “This is my only begotten video, with whom I am well pleased.”

Till this long tedious labour is complete, all I have is faith.  Faith without works is dead, so to ensure that this baby is not still born, much work still remains.  This project has made a believer out of me.  I have a newer, fresher appreciation for the medium of film and video which is in many ways the polar opposite of my own preferred mode of expression.  One is more communal, the other solitary.  One is tech dependent the other needs only a black lead and paper.

So much frustration, so much back and forth, so many different personalities: I am not used to this.  In fact I actively avoid it.  Thank you LARC and Fresh Milk for forcing me to grow.

On to the next scene…

– Adrian Green

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Adrian Green and Sky LARC’s Residency: Third Report

Art is Chemistry. Still shot of Adrian Green, image by Sky LARC

Art is Chemistry. Still shot of Adrian Green, image by Sky LARC

Take a look behind the scenes as the H(art)D work video evolves.  It is like the creation of a solar system.

Images from the mind of Director Larc, start to orbit around the the poem by Adrian Green.  Out of the chaos will emerge a new galaxy; a world created by the artists, the cast and the crew.  Like archangels aiding in the process of creation, they volunteered their time and energy.

But this time it will take more than seven days or a big bang and it will not come together by random selection.  This is a controlled burn over several longggggg days that has begun.  After repeatedly proclaiming “Let there be light,” and with all the pieces in place, the director will say, “It is good.”

Adrian Green and Sky LARC’s Residency: Week 2

Spoken word artist and Adrian Green and filmmaker LARC are collaborating at Fresh Milk for the month of September and working on the production of a video short. See LARC’s photographs of the performing artists they are working with, and read Adrian’s blog entry about the challenges of filmmaking, and innovation necessary to adapt to the process.

Review Performance

Reviewing the performance

I instinctively understood it before.  But I can appreciate more now.  Film making in Barbados is H(art)D.  I’ll come back to that.

This process of film making is entirely new and fascinating to me.  This is my first time working in the medium and thus far it is very different.

This is my perception of the process thus far.  We are in the pre-production stage and at this point there is not a lot of “art” going on.  The “art” goes into the conceptualisation and production of a script and/or treatment, and the production of visuals in filming and editing.  Aside from that it is planning and administrative work to be done, to ensure that the small window we have for shooting does not close on us prematurely.

The planning involves scheduling, corresponding with actors, securing props, equipment and finalising locations.  In other words, looking around making calls and waiting.  This is hard work for me who is not the most organised and usually depends on no one and nothing but himself  to get his art done. This is definitely not a 9 to 5 type gig.  Long periods of seeming inactivity are set to be followed by marathon sessions of filming and editing.

Now on the difficulty of island film making…

Time and budgetary constraints make it so the local film maker must be extra creative.  I think I’ll call it “Jazz style film making” or “Mcgyver film making.”  This is because the of the level of improvisation, ingenuity and innovation required.  You may start with a vision but can expect that the flexibility of your creative muscle will be tested when lack of resources, responses, time and so on, require you to find new ways, approaches and ideas.

But then again, I guess this is not unique to film making.  That is just art.  Somehow though, it seems amplified when applied to screen.  Movie Magic?

– Adrian Green

Megghan and friends

Megghan and friends

Adrian Green and Sky LARC’s Residency: Week 1

Adrian Green and LARC are collaborating at Fresh Milk for the month of September and working on the production of a video short. See LARC’s shots from ‘working out the working out scene’ and moving through the bush on the location scout. Read Adrian’s blog entry which is in the form of poetry this week.

Dancer: Megghan Michael

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working out the working out scene

We are starting to hear our own footsteps
In our heads
The sound of four soles slapping ground echos from the gut
Where anticipation builds
Percussive steps subtly synchronise
Evidence that we are moving
The motion
ever
so
Slight
Is perceived in rememberance
We look forward
Gaze pulled by the strings of reSolving image
Evolving image
Of what one is being built through many
Heads… Hearts… Hands…
Not necessarily in that order

– Adrian Green

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our guide through the bush on our location scout

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the face of H(art)d Work

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looking for the right spot