2013-16 - wearable system, web series/ online archive, performance

Good Evening,

you are going to witness an experiment. The attempt made by a dancer and a composer, to create a language through the relationship between gestures and sounds. The test and study then, of this language. The alphabet in use is a set of gesture-sound connections, where every movement comes as an answer to the sound created by the dancer. As in every scientific experiment, space and boundary conditions are given. Its result instead, depends always on external factors and live circumstances. Thereby, the main part of the piece is an improvisation and it develops differently at every try of the experiment.

Experiment n.4, 18th March 2017

OPENING TALK in “How we deal with technology” at Officine Caos, Turin (IT), 2017

The sound gives a weight to the body in the space (Elisa)
The sound is a way to give volume to the movement, to expand it into the space (Alessio)   Fold your arms and you will stop to listen to the wind (Marco)
NOTES from the residency at SpazioK, 2016



Project Flex is a three years research project developed with S’odinonsuonare that resulted in a wearable sensors system, a web series and a performance, “How we deal with technology”.

The starting point was Mazzaro’s interest in how a sound can affect our psychology and consequently our way to move. His thought was: if a movement can create a sound and it affects us through a feeling, we then create a new movement related to this feeling that produces a new sound, and go on in a perpetual iterative process. To develop this idea Marco Campana, sound designer of S’odinonsuonare, created a wearable system that allows a performer to generate sounds with movements through some flex sensors. As soon as we started to use the system some key questions raised:

I am a dancer or a music instrument? I am doing something because I need or because I can? For us these questions are the two extreme boundaries of technology for performers. (Technology as a prosthesis of your body).

To research the answers we started Flex, a long time research about the relationship between choreography and music composition. We first created the instrument – four wearable flex sensors that transmit data via wifi – and then research a way to use it. We eventually achieved to two different outputs, a didactic online archive/web series, to show and teach all the possibilities of the instrument to play music while dancing, and a final performance that using the created alphabet to compose, questions our relationship with technology (and the one with have created).

Mazzaro is the protagonist of the first season of the web series, where each episode is about a peculiar possibility to use the system to create or modified a sound. Each possibility is associated to a different quality of movement developed as an emotional reaction. In the second season, other dancers, musicians and choreographers have been invited to try the system. This was an investigation on different ways to interact with the system, and we focused on the moment in which a musician or dancer discover that her/his body can make sounds, so in the act of discovering and studying how to make sounds. Then we tried even the more extreme and contradictory possibilities to use the system, such as to create an acoustic scenario physically unbearable, where the body has to react to decrease the sound effects and bring back the situation to the normality.

At this point thanks to different choreography residencies, we started to work with the Dancer Elisa D’Amico to compose the final performance. It is a game between a sound designer and a dancer. The test of a relationship, a language made of connections between sounds and movements. An ironic thought about our behavior towards the technology we have created and the desire to be independent from it. On the stage, an inventor dj faces a dancer. She is wearing the system. He tunes her and starts the game. She can become 9 different audio instruments. He chooses the instrument, she plays. He chooses the instrument, she finds a movement to stop the sound. A body finding its relationship with a sound produced by itself. A body fights against it. A tug of war. Harmony and Contrast. Music composition and Choreography. How is in charge?

The piece also attempts a shift in how as spectator we perceived a performance, it demands in fact to the audience, to “apply” to the view, the time of the listening.

Project made with S’ODINONSUONARE