Archive for the ‘london poetry systems’ Tag

London Poetry Systems Round Up

Back in October, London Poetry Systems collaborated with the Oxford University Poetry Society for (what we thought was) a one-off event in Oxford.

It’s now become a two-off. We’re back for Oxfringe on 11 April 2010.

Here are some of the better bits from our last show…

Will Stopha – This City is Larger than Life by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Huck – My Freedom and Me by Big Face Art on Vimeo

George Chopping – Wit off by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Henry Stead – Earth Too Soon by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Yo Zushi – ‘Eva’ by Big Face Art on Vimeo

Advertisements

LPS @ Canford School

zan-lyons-canford-2-resize

Zan Lyons rehearsing at Canford School.

London Poetry Systems on the road last week. Although teaching in name, it was more a learner than anything else.

Thanks to the kids at Canford School for their energy and ideas. I hope we helped with some shape and can’t wait to see the results on the 17th/ 18th.

Since I last wrote about this project Codeshift has kicked off an exceptional podcast to showcase his trademark sonic collage.

The Vimeo group, as ever, welcomes all contributions and collaborations.

And finally, hats off to Zan Lyons for his performance on Friday. Astonishing and outright unique, as I can only imagine the album will be once it’s released.

Zan Lyons Live at London Astoria 2008 by thisisourpunkrock on YouTube.

Surprise! It’s A Live Feed

For the second deadly bout of London Poetry Systems we up-stepped the video trickery.

To create a mirror on the night, we concealed a camera on stage.

On cue – we pulled the trigger on the audience, and Yo Zushi, our sound man, became the live feed’s accidental star.

See what you make of Henry Stead performing ‘Copy Cat’…

If you like this, or any of the other LPS videos posted on this blog, why not join our Vimeo group?

How to VJ #5

To recap: you should be (1) gathering and making material; (2) figuring how it moves; (3) getting it in time – understanding how it works in the fourth dimension.

Now to performance specifics – and the third dimension. All good VJing has a strong and nuanced understanding of layers.

If you’ve got decent Photoshop skills then you’ve got one up on me. And you’ll certainly understand layered composition.

What VJing can do is manipulate different layers in different time (according to the software and mixer you use). I’ll give you a very simple example with screengrabs from Henry Stead’s poem ‘Earth, Too Soon’.

1. Cut Out

When you’ve got a cut-out detail, i.e. the background is cut out as a block colour, you’ve got more versatility. This detail is from a painting by Elisa Muliere.

The detail was kept static as a video clip. But the same applies to moving footage. Think green screen.

2. Background layers

In this case, we had the background from the original painting. I could fade that background in manually on the night, in time, by making this my second clip. Just mixed from channel A to channel B.

So the background of the painting faded in from black, with the foreground figure staying present throughout – because it retained exactly the same position in the 640×480 frame.

3. Multiple layers

At the next stage, we introduced a new video layer but also preserved the background painting beneath it.

In After Effects, I composed the clip so video of worms in soil slotted in between the foreground figure and the background of the original painting.

By reducing the opacity of the worms video clip, you can still see the integrity of the original painting beneath. We mixed this in and out over the full painting (screengrab 2 above).

Mixing media is a lot easier if you do it in layers. Otherwise you chop around too hard and fast. Your fingers will get tired, and you’ll hurt your audience’s eyes.

Although it can work great in edited compositions, it won’t always suit live mixing.

4. Overlaying

At the end of this piece, I started to overlay a clip of snow. This came in on top of the painting, so the black sky darkened everything underneath it as we faded to a close.

This was a standard cross-fade. The same as 100s of edits you’ll see every day on TV. Nothing in the pre-editing, just executed live with a V4 mixer. The snow came over the painting, creating depth.

Some rules

1. Live layering is easier with at least some cut-outs. You can develop more complex textures when you reduce the content of the frame.

2. Not everything has to be moving. You can keep some bits still. Different elements can move at different speeds – think about how the music’s composed and what’s suitable to match it.

3. You can layer many things at once, but only with control. Otherwise it’s a mess. You’re creating orchestration, so you should aim to reflect that in the live mixing.

4. Even when you mix into a new section, there’s no necessity for a hard cut. Bashing between clips can work for a tough, alternating beat. Using a BPM sync, it can be smart way to keep time.

But with layers you can get into the melody. That’s where you’ll pull off the most impressive performances.

Previously: #4 You know the type.

Re-Splice Your Weekend

Got a split-second this weekend? I envy you. But I can happily spare a recommendation.

Go to Now Showing at the Cosh Gallery, Soho, London.

Some spectacular reinterpretations of classic film posters on show. Above, works by Kako/ Carlos Bela and Pietari Posti/ Underware, below by James Joyce and David Johnston/ David Ellis.

The prints look exceptional. And I’m busy with some reinterpretation myself, so I guess that explains why this grabbed me.

I’ll be VJing for Jungle Drums at The Egg on Saturday. If you’re coming down, pop over and say hi. We did a bunch of these Brazilian shows last summer and people seemed to like the vibe. So I’m re-editing what felt goodest.

On Thursday next week, I’ll be re-performing two poetry pieces with Henry Stead, and trotting out to new ones. Swing by The FleaPit Cafe on Columbia Rd for London Poetry Systems 02 if you’re feeling floaty and curious.

And whatever you’re doing over the weekend, and the week to come, I hope you enjoy every minute of it.

All 3 from Henry

The three poems Henry Stead performed at the launch night for London Poetry Systems.

In order, they are:

– The Love of Phlebas

– A Visionary’s Visionary Vision

– An Ancient Process

Thanks to Kaara for her design work on Phlebas. All three visual scores were outputted through an Edirol V4 mixer, performed with motion dive .tokyo, and pre-produced in Adobe Premier and Adobe After Effects.

You can watch all of the poets on our Vimeo group site.

Live at the FleaPit Cafe

Videos from last month’s London Poetry Systems launch night at the FleaPit are now online.

Here’s Henry Stead performing ‘A Visionary’s Visionary Vision’.

We spent a few weeks working together on each of his poems, and this live audiovisual performance is the product of those experiments.