Aoi Yamaguchi ( Japanese Calligraphy/Performance )
Corey Fuller ( Sound/Composition )
Mika Satomi ( Costume/Light )

書韻 – SHOINN – is a conceptual, collaborative and improvised performance, in which Japanese calligraphy, e-textile and sound art come together.
The large scale calligraphy paintings of Aoi Yamaguchi and the electro-acoustic sounds composed by Corey Fuller are bridged by Mika Satomi’s costume and e-textile technologies. The dynamic movement of the calligrapher is translated into light and sound through a sensor embedded costume. The soundscape is composed of acoustic piano and a modular synthesizer system which receive signals generated by the movements of the calligrapher and are translated into sound. The performance is a process of constant improvisation between interpretation and expression made by the calligrapher, the musician and the technology.

SHOINN TEASER1 from mikst on Vimeo.

Part 1:
風韻悠然 神韻縹渺 光韻一縷 余韻遥遥
elegance in calmness, transcendence in the art, a ray of light lingering, reverberation from afar

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This part was performed in daylight with one long piece of WASHI (Japanese paper) coming out of a piano. Accelerometer was embedded on the brush, detecting its movement and converting it to MIDI signal. This information was sent directly to the modular synthesizer Corey is playing. As Aoi writes, the sound was triggered and Corey played piano beside the sound from the modular synth.

Part 2:
as eternal as heaven and the earth

This part has no sound or technology involved. Just to experience the calligraphy with the sound and light from the environment. It was performed on a small bridge that oversees a small river behind.

Part 3:
the sound of bells and drums, a light of life, in resonance

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This is the main part of 3 parts performance. It started at the beginning of the sun set, and ends with the light of dusk. eTextile sensors are embedded in Aoi’s costume, sensing her breathing and the movement of her body and translates it to the intensity of light in the space.
The part starts with Aoi meditating in the middle. The light bulbs are fading as she breathes, resonating whole space with her breath. As she starts to write, the body movements take the control of the lights. The intensity of the light in the space is converted into the control voltage for the modular synthesizer resulting to modulate the composition Corey makes.
My task for this collaboration is to make a bridge between the calligrapher and the musician in their improvisational process. The use of light bulbs and light sensor (LDR) came as I did not wanted the digital signal feeding into the analog synthesizer. As a result, the light bulbs became also a very important element in the whole scenery of the performance. It is nice to experience the 30 minutes of sun light fading away by concentrating on the performance and realizing the last glim of twilight at the end.

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Here is a close up of the costume. I used x-OSC for sensing and sending data wirelessly. It has 16 analog input and sends OSC over wifi. Very simple and reliable to use! Eeonyx stretch fabric sensor was embedded on elbows and knees, connecting to the x-OSC on the back through stretch conductive fabric traces. The breathing sensor was a separate piece like corset, also using Eeonyx stretch fabric sensor.

Aoi Yamaguchi (Japanese Calligrapher / Performance Artist)
Corey Fuller (Sound Artist )

Photo Credit:
Corey Fuller
Farid Kati
James Porter
Aoi Yamaguchi
Mika Satomi