Laptop Music and Embodiment: Materializing the Ephemeral, September 14, 2013
Embodied experiences of music and dance are difficult to describe, let alone preserve for the future. Every listener--those who play or dance and those who don't--experiences it differently. And when that embodied experience takes place across the digital divide, as diverse bodies differently respond shifting material conditions, perceptual response, and improvisatory navigation—what is the material and how do we share it? On September 14, 2013, Michelle Heffner Hayes, Dance; Kip Haaheim, Music; Nichole Hodges Persley, Theatre; and Sherrie Tucker, American Studies considered these questions in relation to the Adaptive Use Musical Instrument (AUMI) at "Return to the Material" Digital Humanities Forum", University of Kansas.
From their various discipines and departments, the panelists discussed the material and ephemeral findings of their work on improvisation utilizing the AUMI, a musical instrument download that responds to movement large and small, adapts to all bodies, and calls attention to the user’s experience of their body as they face the screen of a laptop, PC, or IPad. Music and dance are not disconnected in this practice built on body-triggered sound; instead this connection is heightened. In addition, dance need not configure a bodily ideal, but shapes bodies, incorporates all bodies, and constructs connections between people. Panelists spoke from the brink of a forthcoming multi-media performance (KU Commons, October 30, 2013) that explores lines of performance/research, dis/ability, mobility/stasis, agency/eminence, and sounding/perceiving.