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Blog - Jo-anne Cox

Audience Feedback shapes the future of Defiant Journey

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I loved every minute of performing my scratch performance of Defiant journey at Stratford Circus.

That is until near the end when basking with my cello under the beautiful lighting by David Abra and Charles Mathews I started to think, I have to write another funding application if I ever want to do this again!

But what did the audience think? Filling in feedback forms or even verbal feedback is never the first thing anyone wants to do after a performance but I am so grateful to those who did, it is immeasurably helpful in growing and developing the show. Here is some feedback about the different interactive elements.

Perhaps the riskiest, was the sensory engagement with dance scarves. Luckily I had the opportunity to scratch this at All in the Mind Festival and Together!. But I was still worried about how the audience would respond,

“At first the scarf-waving was embarrassing, but we were in it together and got past that”

“The ambience, atmosphere and freedom to express with the scarves and the cello player was outstanding”

“It would be interesting if the colour scarves were interactive with the music through the technology”

The Vibrotactile equipment designed by Vibrafusion Lab and made by Together! 2012 artists was primarily in the show for Deaf and neurodivergent access but also gave the wider audience a new way to experience music.

“the tactile equipment feels very therapeutic, I am partially deaf and the vibration feedback is sometimes stronger than sound”

“was beautiful to feel the vibration going through the body”

Joanne plays cello, to the right of the picture BSL interpereter Laura Goulden, An audience member standing uses the ipad on a stand, an audience member wears a vibrotactile tabard

New ways to engage with live cello – photo Becky Morris Knight

Ipads kindly lent by Drake Music were used for the audience to improvise to the cello compositions and trigger the lanterns on stage. Creative technologist Charles Mathews installed a bespoke app, with sounds that complemented the cello and matched the compositions.

“I was pleasantly surprised as many performances where technology reacts with an instrumentalist are not “pretty” to listen to, but this performance was really musical and enjoyable and pleasant to listen to.”

“I really enjoyed it! More iPads so more of the audience could interact.”

However, overall there was not adequate explanation about the tech worked into the script.

“I would’ve liked more description of what was happening with the  tech (eg what triggered the lights)”

“The iPad worked well when using the coloured keyboard. I was less clear on the output of the audio for the bed bugs function (coming out of iPad or coming out of PA, or both).”

So plenty to think about over the summer and beyond. How to tour,  raise money for and work out how many items of vibrotactile equipment and iPads are needed  How to write clear explanations of the tec in the script but keeping it creative. Do we familiarise the audience with the tec before the show? What tec might we use to respond to the scarves?

Compared to this time last year when I had the insecurity of not knowing if I would get the R & D Funding, I feel so lucky to be planning my tour. Have a lovely summer everyone x

Defiant Journey tours from summer 2020

At DMLab Somerset House London. 6.30pm, 14th August I will be presenting the creative development of Defiant Journey, with a little help from David Bobier of Vibrafusion Lab and Charles Mathews.

https://www.somersethouse.org.uk/whats-on/music-hackspace-dmlab-london

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