Sound of Mind & Body by Bill Coleman & Gordon Monahan
Presented by Electric Eclectics and Public Energy Performing Arts
a collaboration between Gordon Monahan and Bill Coleman
October 7, 2021 @ 7:30pm
This collaboration by Bill Coleman and Gordon Monahan uses brainwave sensing technology to produce sound, music, and movement. An EEG interface worn by dancer-choreographer Coleman sends data to several Max/MSP software patches in real-time. As Coleman shifts through various states of mental and physical concentration and movement, he is able to produce and control alphabrainwaves while dancing. He uses these alpha waves in conjunction with Monahan’s software manipulations, to produce various responses in musical instruments such as piano and percussion, to control the fading of stage lights, and to control sound spatialization and audio processing, all in realtime. Monahan simultaneously controls several Max/MSP software patches on stage that harness Coleman’s brain signals to sculpt soundwaves, light, instrumental composition and kinetic actions into a progressively layered multi-media artwork.
This piece follows in the tradition of brainwave music composition pioneered by Alvin Lucier, David Rosenboom, Richard Teitelbaum, and others, beginning in the 1960s. In fact, the history of brainwaves and sound reproduction dates back to 1928, when the British scientist Edgar Adrian (1889–1977) successfully sonified human brainwaves (EEG) in laboratory experiments.
Bill Coleman was last seen in Peterborough performing Le Flaneur on the railroad tracks in Millennium Park during Public Energy’s 2020 Pivot Series. Prior to that he presented Dollhouse, a collaboration with Gordon Monahan that landed on The Globe & Mail’s Top Ten Dance Picks for 2016 and has toured around the world. Over a nearly 40-year career Bill has danced with some of the biggest names in the world: Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Martha Graham Dance Company, Toronto Dance Theatre, Tere O’Connor, Fondation Jean-Pierre Perreault, Wiesbaden Ballet, William Douglas Danse and currently Tedi Tafel and Dance Theatre David Earle. Among Bill’s many creations are Hymn To The Universe, performed with the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra, Inverted Mountains with John Oswald and Emile Morin in Banff National Park, and OutSideIn, a 3D film by Anne Troake with Carol Prieur, which was screened at the 2015 Venice Biennale. Bill is the recipient of two of Canada’s most prestigious dance awards: the Canada Council Jacqueline Lemieux Prize and the Walter Carsen Prize for Excellence in the Performing Arts.
Gordon Monahan‘s works for piano, loudspeakers, video, kinetic sculpture, and computer-controlled sound environments span various genres from avant-garde concert music to multi-media installation and sound art. As a composer and sound artist, he juxtaposes the quantitative and qualitative aspects of natural acoustical phenomena with elements of media technology, environment, architecture, popular culture, and live performance. The renowned composer John Cage once said, “At the piano, Gordon Monahan produces sounds we haven’t heard before.” Gordon Monahan is the recipient of a 2013 Governor-General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts.
Pivot 2.0 is presented with support from the Government of Ontario’s Reconnect Festival and Event Program, Department of Canadian Heritage’s Support for Workers in Live Arts and Music Sectors Fund, and the Peterborough Downtown BIA
Electric Eclectics is additionally supported by: