Archive for January, 2013

Bath UpChuck

Yesterday, I braved the snows to head over to Bath for Bath UpChuck Juggling convention!
Arriving too late (after last night’s evening out to see Facade) to do many workshops, I settled in to watch the evening show.
Amidst a lot of fantastic acts, there was a performance by one of the Gandinis that utilised glow juggling clubs along with electronic music. While the juggling was technically very good, it didn’t flow amazingly well with the music, and the lights were far too jittery and unrelated to the music for the performance to hold together well as an overall experience.

Thursday, January 24th, 2013 3rd Year, Inspiration, Uncategorized No Comments


Last night, I saw the Crashmat Collective perform Facade at Newport Riverfront Theatre. It was a fantastic show set in a fictional restaurant, with the performers serving a three course meal to the audience. Music and lights were brilliantly implemented – a ‘waiter’ would be half way through serving something to a table when the lights and music would change, and suddenly all the performers would be doing some strange repetitive motion, while one of them performed a circus piece before everything switching back to how it was before, with neutral lighting and relaxed double bass led music.

I like the idea of lighting and sound unexpectedly changing dramatically together, and am hoping to implement this in my work – perhaps using a DMX controller that is also controlled with the circus performance.

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013 3rd Year, Inspiration No Comments

Fishing Rods and Ideas

Not much to say here really.
I had the dance studio booked out to refilm what I have currently, but the lights and sound system weren’t usable, so I had some experiments with what I had with me, which included a fishing rod. So hey.

Definitely some usable ideas here, I like the idea of using a pendulum to keep time, and if the rod was black, I could get some good ‘magical’ effects with getting balls to fly out in unexpected directions.

The rod also gives me a far greater range of movement to control than I would otherwise have with the balls as I have been using them.

Monday, January 21st, 2013 3rd Year, Live, Stuff I've Done No Comments

Live – A halfway-there summary.

Ok, so we’re half way through the year, and half way through this project, from an academic point of view, at least.

I’ve done 3 live performances ([1], [2], [3]) and stepped forward hugely in both the presentation of the piece and the underlying code. Allowing the tracking to work around stage lights has opened up the scope for performance massively, and general software improvement has opened possibilities in how sounds are effected, with a lot more aspects of movement being used and translated into sonic elements.

Aside from the performances, I’ve done large amounts of technical and performative development, moving from tracking with with webcam, through trying to use a webcam and wiimote together to make a faux kinect (to some success, but I eventually decided it wasn’t worth the hassle) and then on to using a playstation eye. I’ve also done a lot of visual experimentation with lights and juggling props to explore the deep sea theme that is running through this piece. I’ve also been discussing my work with various people in regards to getting them involved with the project.

So… where am I going?

I have a lot more ideas in a technical sense that I would like to explore, though with the performance working well in it’s current state these will have to be implemented if and when i feel the inclination and have the time – as with any programming project adding new elements to a project often takes a huge amount of time and there may be more important things to focus on.

As a tourable modern circus performance, the project is really too short currently to stand on it’s own. The types of venue that it would suite in it’s current form as part of a bigger show would be medium sized theater stages (Newport’s Riverfront Theatre, or Cardiff’s Chapter Arts to name a couple of local ones).
To be able to perform in such venues, I would need to either obtain funding to develop the project into a full-length show, or find a company which will include my project as part of it’s show. I have started talking to NoFit State circus in cardiff to this regard, but we’ll have to see how that goes.

I could also quite feasibly tour with a circus festival stage such as Bassline Circus, or Big Top Mania, and I have already had an offer to join Basstrology which is an example of such a stage (though one that is still in fairly early stages of development). being festival format shows, the acts can be more varied, and less cohesive as a whole than theatre shows have to be, making it more feasible to start touring the performance in its current state.

As it is, my project could easily stand up on its own performing at circus festivals and conventions, though this is not financially viable in the long run. I will also try and perform in a few scratch sessions in Cardiff (The Forge) and Bristol (Volt, Ausform)

As it is a performance of spectacle, the audience for circus performance is interesting – it is very varied, with a wide range of people going, but not very often. Modern theatre based circus is a little more narrow, however, but definitely supported, with Newport’s Riverfront putting on regular circus shows (both NoFit State and Crashmat Collective are performing in February). I think, however, that the real audience I’m aiming this project to at the moment is the bigger circus companies or funding sources, as I realistically need those connections for this project to really take off.

Once the project is performable in a larger scale, promotion should be relatively easy, as I have already been working sporadically as a walkabout performer in south wales handing out fliers (usually on stilts), which has proven very successful. This approach combined with posters and an online presence should be easily sufficient to draw a crowd.


Jan – migrate system to new laptop, confirm which additional performers I am having involved with the the project at this stage.
Feb – march – musical and visual development
April-may rehearsals & any performances I can organise.

Tech development will have to continue throughout, as any visual or sonic changes will undoubtably cause the necessity for changes to keep it all working.

Thursday, January 17th, 2013 3rd Year, Live, Tutor food No Comments

Jellyfish! – Playing With Par Cans

Over the holidays, I’ve been experimenting with scarves as an extension of an idea born in the meeting I had with Danny and Cole back in November.

I hired 2 DMX RGB LED par cans from uni scores, and have been experimenting with using them in different ways.

I started experimenting with ways to make the scarves easily visible to the camera, as well as experimenting with trying to convey sea creatures with them.
I then had a few experiments with controlling them via DMX and using them to create contrasting layers by lighting foreground and background differently, which created a striking effect.

I’d like to experiment with getting them to react directly to the balls if I can get them to do so without messing up the colour tracking.

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 3rd Year, Live, Stuff I've Done No Comments


I’ve just realised that I don’t think I’ve ever posted this video on here!

This masterpiece directed by  was the seed that this whole project grew from, way back when it came out 10 months ago. I’d been toying with methods of control and ordered the balls, but the whole conceptual aesthetic slammed into place after watching this video – brought it into being anything more than just a neat bit of tech without direction. The creatures that come in at 2:50 were obviously the main inspiration in this regard.

This is where the deep sea vibe came from!

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013 2nd year, 3rd Year, Inspiration, Live, Production No Comments

Uni Midterm waffling – Production

Format of release and publication

The site is obviously deals with itself in that regard, and the video and app will be distributed through the site.


Audiences and markets

The audience at this point is, I guess, potential collaborators and companies that I may be able to work with.

The live part of the project would definitely work best as part of a bigger show, and to this affect I need to either aim my marketing towards finding a larger show to join with, or towards gaining funding.

Once I have developed the site, a video and potentially app to a level I am happy with, I will distribute it by presenting it to juggling blogs and websites (,, etc) as well as possibly music tech blogs and such, but I haven’t researched these yet.

Similar things… there aren’t many. Either that or I’m really searching for the wrong thing. Most of my searches come back with my own work, and not much else. There are a few things that people have done that I’ve posted in previous posts, but nothing that’s developed the tech into a really viable performance.



Finish website – end of jan

Finish video – end of feb

Spam the hell out of the internet – march

Finish app – end of April

Monday, January 14th, 2013 3rd Year, Production, Tutor food No Comments

Site redesign!

It’s not 100% finished, but most of the visual design is there for now. I need to fix up the technical side of the blog management and such, but hey… getting there!

Sunday, January 13th, 2013 3rd Year, Production, Stuff I've Done No Comments