The Sounds of Movement
Maya Felixbrodt offered our project a unique look into experimentation. Coming from a background in classical viola playing and composition, the spirit of Maya Felixbrodt is experimental at heart. In the past 10 years she has written, promoted, programmed and even written of experimental practices and pieces. This fascination drew her to study composition at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague as a second BA, as well as her recently completed master from the same school. Her Master, as befitting a true experimenter, is in the field of movement, or rather, its interaction with sound. More Specifically, her research was in Laban Movement Analysis (LMA), but not of the actual movement notation devised by the same Rudolf Laban. Her research focused on two other topics or strands of the LMA, namely Efforts, and Body Fundamentals.
Felixbrodt chose not to be interviewed for her session in the Halas studio, but preferred to allow the sounds to carry her message and indeed deeper understandings regarding experimentation. And experiment she did, as her 30 minute structured improvisation for us in the studio was in fact an exploration of the effects of movement on sound. The discussion of the effects of sound-production on movement is one that has been widely explored in recent years. In fact, one is by now accustomed to the somatic artefacts that accompany any performance of live playing. In recent years we have even seen a rising criticism of laptop concert due to the general inanimate nature of their performers.
Felixbrodt decided to turn this entire discussion on its head, and asks, what sounds can arise as a consequence of movement? And indeed, into our studio she marched with what seemed like a comfy dance attire, viola and accompanying bow. Her structured improvisation was, for the lack of a better term, choreography. She asked for the studio to be amplified through a wide as possible stereo formation. She also asked for the microphones to be placed fairly close to the ground, so that her movements and steps are heard. Felixbrodt then continued to dance freely in the studio, all along keeping her viola closely at hand or literally under her chin. Thus, she created haphazard sounds as a consequence of her movement, which were varied and athletic. The result before you – a fascinating array of movements combined with viola playing, and other sounds that, through chance, found their way into this exciting structured improvisation.
Ophir Ilzetzki goes into a detailed cultural analysis of Akeda (sacrifice), the highly political oratorio written between 1981 and 1982 and only premiered last year (!), portraying a narrative of the Israeli history by Israel’s foremost composer, Arie Shpira.
Costa-Rican composer Federico Reuben (*1978) in interview with Ophir Ilzetzki. Together they take-apart Reuben’s large ensemble piece Esferica Cantandote