Living Room Rehearsal series – Part 1

Our first living room rehearsals have begun with our brand new Pozyx system! Five microphone stands make for a handy set of tall anchor fixtures that we can take with us anywhere, so we set up shop in our own living room last week to test the whole thing out. Luckily enough – it all worked! Data came through, calibration was on, and 4 anchors knew where the tag was.

So then we graduated to the BIG living room – at our friend’s house! Our shared warehouse space has the minimum dimensions but luckily enough we know people with an even BIGGER living room that fits all 5 anchors.  Did I mention they have a great surround sound speaker system AND a projector so we can look at the wall and see where the tag is moving from the computer’s perspective? This really helps Bagel and I out, because as I move the pozyx tag around, I can see what he sees in real time, allowing us to give better feedback and saving time.

We’re still figuring out how the floor plan function works with Pozyx, but this may be a natural thing we have to do every time we are in a new space – map the real dimensions and locations to the software so it matches and we don’t get confused ie: I know when I move to the green anchor in the corner, the tag is moving the same way on the screen as I imagine.

The most exciting bits were the two main interactions we got working that day!!!

We replicated our cross fade and had a friend test it with much glee (you can see video of that below!) 

We’d love to add a change in the volume of the main sound when the tag is moved up and down, taking full advantage of a person as having 360 degrees of motion that affects sound. This was simply with the ‘vanilla’ tag – no housing or prop to contain it! – which most people including ourselves tend to use like a compass. Hmmm… what object would fit this dancey interaction? A ball? A hat? Probably something you could share with other dancers. Lots to explore here.

Using the tag as a compass to find the ‘sweet spot’ where sound changes became an unspoken game! Additionally we realized that placing a ‘backing track’ or continuous loop sound that plays to complement the 2 cross fading sounds makes the whole experience more interesting. BAGEL certainly thinks that this is because the musicality of a backing track can fill in the gaps between interactions with a very ancient and naturally accessible playspace – rhythm! Rhythm is both mentor and collaborator, helping to multiply the feedback of playing with the interaction. There is also some room for live interaction with the technician on this one, mimicking the discovery BAGEL and I made when at the CUBE during the 2018 Spatial Music workshop test.

We’ll talk about the other interaction – triggering sound clips in Ableton based on entering a specific area of the room – in our next blog post!