Tilt/Shift featuring Socorro

For Alternative Controller

Performance Video Link:

Tilt/Shift featuring Socorro is a piece for alternative controller, sound recording, and electronics. In live performance I control custom software with Gourdo to process a recording of Butayolelo by Angolan singer/songwriter Socorro. Tilt/Shift focuses on a single, continuous move from short sounds extracted from the recording to long sounds that time-stretch the recording in the extreme. The piece presents multiple views of Socorro’s work by overlaying a changing temporal structure on top of his original harmonic structure. All of the sounds are derived from the original recording but are reorganized in time.

Gourdo is an alternative controller designed and built by the artist to control and manipulate the playback of sound recordings in live performance. Gourdo’s primary sensors are accelerometers that measure how fast the gourd moves, when it’s being tapped, and how much it’s being tilted. Gourdo’s data is mapped dynamically in performance: sometimes Gourdo controls one part of the sound manipulations and sometimes it controls another. Whatever else it’s doing in a given moment, Gourdo’s tilt regularly controls a fade between two different sounds or sound manipulations; watching Gourdo roll back and forth can help cue the listeners for large-scale changes. In response to being tapped, Gourdo sometimes produces sounds and sometimes re-maps its controls, moving to a new section of a piece.

Socorro is a Luanda-based singer/songwriter. The recording used in this piece was made in early 2006 in Socorro’s yard in Golf II, a peri-urban slum outside of Luanda. By distributing our initial recordings Socorro was able to organize support for the production of a studio CD released in 2008. The album, Meu Dever, became an out-of-nowhere success that won him a place in Radio Luanda’s Top 10 Angolan Artists of 2008 along with awards for best song, best new male artist, and best folk group. In two short years Socorro made the leap from unemployed poverty in one of Luanda’s most desperate areas to Angolan pop super-stardom. Socorro’s personal achievement reflects the situation in present-day Angola where the completely unthinkable and the eminently possible co-exist in radical instability.

tags: Portfolio