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Blog - Ivan Riches

Sonic Vistas, with accessible, deep, resonating sounds and beats / 29 June 2015

black and white digitised image of a young man wearing headphones with the caption 'feel music'

Digitised image of MC Geezer, from Deaf Rave

Sonic vistas, as both an arts project and a group/ band is developing beyond all my expectations. Over our past 2 sessions, it has been a privilege to work with such talented and creative artists/ musicians, Kris Halpin, Howard Jaques, Mik Scarlet, Rosie Vachat and rapper MC Geezer. And the amazing Sophie Partridge will be joining us next session to complete our 7-piece band for our performance at the Liberty Festival London 2015.

To give a brief overview of the project, Sonic Vistas is a crossover art-form, made up of music with deep resonating sounds and beats for deaf and partial hearing access, combined with projected imagery incorporating text.

It will be an all rounded audio/ visual feast, creating a more accessible experience. 4 of the musicians will be using Assistive Music Technology (AMT). Some of this technology will facilitate our more physically disabled musicians to make music and play live in real time. This includes ‘Soundbeam’ which interprets the smallest movements into sound, MiMu gloves that also map movement into sound and various disabled user-friendly iPad apps.

Our rapper MC Geezer, from Deaf Rave is using a ‘Subpac’ sending vibrations from the music we play, through his back to facilitate his performance.

For our fist 2 sessions I made 3 video projections and wrote some lyrics to inspire us to work together and create our music. From these sessions the music began, in turn to inspire my video projections.

The lyrics I originally wrote were altered for MC Geezer to sign. He is now penning is his own lyrics for us, as is Mik Scarlet. Not only that, there has been an exchange of ideas around the visual footage, images to work which Mik’s lyrics. Also, Howard Jacques has given me mobile phone video footage to work with.

This way of openly sharing ideas is enriching the project and my personal development as a visual artist and musician, improving my original concept. We are becoming more of an organic entity and we are Sonic Vistas.

Howard Jacques: Synthesizers, electronics and wizardry
Kris Halpin: MiMu gloves
MC Geezer: Subpac, rapping and vocals
Mik Scarlet: Synthesiser and vocals
Rosie Vachat: Soundbeam and iPad
Sophie Partridge: iPad and vocals
Ivan (me): Synthesizer, Keyboards and vocals

Many thanks to James and Snooks of Subpac and Imogen Heap and her MiMu glove team.

Please click on this link for more info about the Liberty Festival on 26 July in the Olympic Park

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