As part of the class Sound Design for New Plays at the Yale School of Drama I was given a chance to present work in the Yale Art Gallery that was inspired by and revolved around pieces in the gallery my group chose the Nok Heads found in the African Collection.
We were inspired by their human like features and their arrangement. We saw them as a kind of chorus and set out to find their voices; we settled upon blown bottles, tapping bottles and human hums.
To create four algorithmic pieces that the Nok Head Choir would "sing" I first chose the, D Minor scale, I then assigned a value to the way the computer would play the scale. Sometimes moving up the scale would be weighted higher than moving down. Other times I weighted the first note in the scale the highest and the next note the lowest, Each voice in a single piece had a slightly different weighting, and each piece had a significantly different weight.
The music and projections were accompanied by the printed text posted below.
Far far away in a faraway land
Lay thirty three clay people in a clay people bed
Then one day, some non-clay people came
Shook off ancient muds from the clay people heads
One by one awake again
Free from dusts and clay remains
They flew their lives into our gales
Upright and boldly told their tales
Of states and faces marvelous
Of tribal wars cacophonous
Oft they’d quietly whisper hence
Of artsy folk beyond the fence
Far far away from their faraway land
Stood thirty three clay people in their clay people clan
Then one day, some more non-clay people came
Asked “clay people, what would your sounds be today?”
One by one they sing their song
Humming clinking going strong
Watch their faces light and fade
Join us in their serenade
Let their sounds wash over you
Blur their faces to one hue.
But when they hush and breathe their dreams
Softly bow and take your leave.
Director - Margot Bordelon
Text - Hansol Jung
Music - Matt Otto
Projections - Kristen Robinson