Premiere: March 2, 2015, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2015: Practices of Everyday Life | Cooking, Agora Hydro-Québec — Cœur des sciences — UQAM, Montréal (Québec)

Navid Navab in collaboration with Jerome Delapierre, Michael Montanaro, Tony Chong.

A synaesthetic performance orchestrated around a chef, an enchanted kitchenette, and sonified ingredients.

Cooking, the most ancient art of transmutation, has become a domestic practice over centuries. In this everyday practice, things perish, transform, and nourish other things. By augmenting the meats, wood, and metal, with sound and painterly light, we stage a performance made from the movements and gestures of cooking.

The performance features a virtuosic chef/ dancer who wields foods, knives, pans and spices transmuted gesturally into real time sound instruments. Gestural sound compositions and responsive imagery unfold in realtime as the chef playfully prepares a meal with computationally enriched ingredients. Within the enchanted kitchenette, every food object and every gesture is turned into a dynamic event, full of relational indeterminacy.

“Cooking” is the first part in a series of performances investigating the enchantment and musicalization of everyday practices, objects, and gestures. Future projects include an augmented surgical theatre, a concerto for a barber and enchanted hair, a percussion piece for a masseuse and cyborg flesh, as well as various real life interventions in public places.

Making the imperceptible palpable, these performances utilize cutting edge gestural sound research, software, and acoustic sensing techniques to symbolically charge everyday actions and objects in ways that combine the composer’s design with the performer’s contingent nuance. By interactively varying the augmentation of an object’s natural acoustical response, we eliminate the a priori distinction between the synthetic/natural, instrument/score, intention/noise, or performer/performed. Performing or improvising music could then turn into an open engagement with matter, borrowing elements from “play”, day to day living, performance art, and the movement arts.



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