The Sonotrope – Sculpture of Movement

The Sonotrope is a VR installation/performance, in which music, dance and technology come together. Robin Noorda, Alfred Marseille (Tropism Art & Science Foundation) and Jilt van Moorst (VRAcademy) are still developing The Sonotrope, but we had the honour to present this work-in-progress to our visitors at Cinedans FEST.

Choreographer Heidi Vierthaler, Cinedans dramaturge Nienke Rooijakkers and dancers Shay Partush and Luca Cacitti came together to give life to this experimental technology. The performers were able to create sounds and patterns through remote controls which were projected and visible for the audience. The patterns being a mix of colours and shapes that came together as a virtual sculpture.

Jilt van Moorst and Robin Noorda, initiators of the project, talked about the artist Nathalie Miebach as one of their inspirations:
Nathalie Miebach makes soundscapes inspired by natural phenomena and translates them to 3D, ‘wouldn’t it be nice if we could create something like this in VR?’. That’s the origin of The Sonostrope. 

Nathalie Miebach, Navigating Into A New Night & Musical Buoy in Search Towards a New Shore, 2009

We asked a few questions to the dancer (Shay Partush) about the creative process.

How much have you been involved into the process?

We had quite some influence on the process. For example, when we were creating the sounds we wanted it to stop the exact moment that we stopped moving. This way each movement has a clear beginning and end. We talked a lot about what the programme can do and how that relates to dance. The process involved a lot of trial and error, which was good. We are still at the beginning.

Did you already know beforehand what the music would be like?

Yes, more or less. We met the composer who created the sounds. Then we connected each sound to a shape, creating visual sounds. Finally we met to see which sounds work and which don’t and we kept on changing it till the last minute. 

The VR experiences are not over, join us at A Lab today and tomorrow for the presentation of our four creative teams, that have been experimenting in the past days on different perspectives on VR and the body.

Get tickets for the VRLab here.

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