Posted on 1 June 2012
Jon, Simon and the team are creating Terrarium in celebration of this year’s North York Moors National Park’s 60th anniversary. The piece will initially be performed in July and August 2012 in different locations across the Moors, and also at festivals in Leeds and Hull.
Terrarium is for two dancers, and will be performed in the landscape inside a specially made four-metre high transparent dome. The sound will be provided by a powerful 30 metre diameter ambisonic speaker array - 8 independent weather protected speakers arranged in a ring around the dome. Each speaker will use its own independent channel, and will work as part of an ambisonic array, which is a very effective surround sound system. With this setup, Jon will be able to create an exciting sonic experience for the audience, who will be free to roam around inside the 30-metre ambisonic array, immersed in the 3D sound field.
The music is created from a combination of sound recordings captured from the North York Moors and instrumental recordings. Jon has been working with past and present York students to create the soundscape for the piece. He has had recent recording sessions with Violinist Val Pearson, Cellist Min Song and Percussionist Martin Scheuregger using the MRC recording and mixing facilities.
Jon is using the ambisonic set up in the mrc studios in order to mix the material, using ambisonic panners and decoders written by music department staff members Ollie Larkin and Dave Malham. He also plans to use motion-tracking software in combination with X-Box's Kinect motion detection system in order to use the dancers movement to control aspects of the soundscape and integrate them within the musical texture.
The creative team for the project has been assembled by choreographer Simon Birch.
Choreographer and project director: Simon Birch
Designer: Becs Andrews
Composer: Jon Hughes
Producer and Project Management: Sarah Shead at Spin Arts