Performing Arts Essay Adam Buckle
January 5th 2001
Trying to show and introduce various ways of writing and making music.
Process of devising and improvising and performing music
How we were able to devise and actually write the piece, refer back to examples.
Include Melody, Harmony, Timbre, Texture, and Rhythm.
Our performed piece was based upon the poem called Amber written by Jennie Fontana. This was our stimulus and my first impression of the poem was of the sea and waves. This was the overriding theme for the piece, which we were to perform.
To introduce us to the end piece we had to first understand what it was we were dealing with, in musical terms. We learnt the basic terms of music and what they meant and we tried to create a little piece which demonstrated at least one of characteristics. The piece, which I created, was based upon tempo and pitch. I played a basic set of notes on the keyboard and then speeded them up and then I stopped, (using silence) and then proceeded to step up an octave. I did this three times. Everybody else in the group did this so we could have some sound recognition about what each sounded like.
After this we had to be taught simple ways of writing down music in terms that we could understand. I have had previous lessons in guitar so I know the basic chords and notes, however with the class we learnt how to write it in a way that we used numbers and lines, TAB.
The way we were taught to right a minimalist form of notation was to produce dots. Say you were using a drum and you were counting your beats, one, two, three, four. And on every third of the four beats you would hit your drum. We would write this down like this:
This gave us a way of remembering the rhythm of the piece and who should be playing what were. This was very useful especially with four people playing instruments. We used this form of notation in a piece we created. This was were we all had percussion instruments and had to come up with 4 lines of 4 bars. We had to use the above notation to create the rhythm and the piece.
When it came to rehearsing the major problem was keeping time as we all set off at 1-line intervals. So you had other instruments playing a different set of notes as you were trying to concentrate on yours. However we got through that and we performed what I considered a very good piece of exploratory music.
We then after that went on to produce Motifs. These are where they can represent something, conjure up something and can be perceived to be an emotion or character.
One of the pieces of motif work which we studied was performed and written by Tschaikovsky. This showed how a simple motif could be changed and adapted to take on what would seem like a completely different melody. This was achieved by either quickening the tempo of the piece of music or playing it in different octaves, to produce more sinister sounds if played within a low octave.
I produced a motif which was a basic riff on the piano going up and down the notes within one octave played really softly, this was to suggest loneliness. By now we had a fairly good but basic understanding of the basic concepts of music.
This then led us to our final piece. As everybody seemed to have a group I went away and did something myself. This didn’t work, as I couldn’t play everything that I wanted to play and everything that I wanted to perform. I decided to find myself a group and try and pass, on some ideas. This is where I started using the wave idea and thanks to the keyboard’s memory banks, the keyboard could play wave sounds at different pitch levels this gave us a background and an introduction to a tone, which we could set for the overall piece. The texture of the sound was of smooth cloth of silk with ripples going through it. This was very effective and instantly produced a relaxed sullen atmosphere. This was thought up by Dawn who had been driving me mad by playing every single tone on the keyboard. I then tried to come up with a set of chords which could mimic the sea, so that you feel when it’s calm and then when it’s not. I produced this by having a set three for 1 round then changed on the second with almost the same chords but just changing one. This I felt gave us an undulation, with the pitch change. After this I would then strum loudly and make them more definitely with lower and deeper chords, followed by the playing of the previous chords but lightly to say as if the sea had finished now.
We also had a drum which played a constant beat throughout which gave a sense of stability also it made the whole piece sound more definite and more powerful. The sound of the drum also increased with the drumming. This was played by Jess and not only did it sound powerful it acted as a counter for me to get my strumming right. Our performance itself was I thought really good and produced a good all round effect, though I think the penny pipe would have given extra effects to the whole piece, this was played by Mrs Brooks during one of our rehearsals and it really sounded like it was at the sea, calming and soothing.
Performing Arts Essay on Drama.
How we got there
What we did to get there
What sort of style we used
First thing before we started on our mini projects we had to be told about different styles. The style which we got told to do was of Stanisnavski. This is were you try and make everything as real as you possibly can. The stage which your acting on takes on whole new worlds, ships, volcanoes. The idea is to make it seem as believable as possible. There are a few problems with doing it this way though. Firstly the set designs are usually the main focus for attention. This can be a problem, because if you are in a west end theatre and you have a fairly large budget you will try to make everything look as pretty as possible. If you have good actors but nothing special and they don’t appeal to the audience (it could be the script as well) then the audience will start wondering around looking for other things to keep there eyes occupied, the stage setting usually do this so much that they will distract the watcher from the play itself.
We got there by first looking at a poem (remember this is a first draft and you’ll be able to hand me the poem on the rewrite, thanks Adam) and tried to get some inspiration from it. We couldn’t no matter how hard we tried to. We came up with some story lines but they were of not of any high standard and so Mr Young decided to try something else. We had to go away and make our own characters up and add them to a scene depending on what each of the characters ended up on introducing themselves to. This turned out to be all right as I managed to pull off an old and cranky man with a short life span upon his hands. Toby was a high level manager, Buzz was a slightly odd accountant, Scott owned the vinyl record shop which I bought out and Steve was the but sucking lawyer who turned Toby in.
We improvised in and around the office down at the pub, curry house and then finally a leaving party for Toby who was going to the states for a new managerial job. We decided to stick with the party because it bought all of us into the limelight, also it made available the chance to use my rather loud voice which I just love to use.
Our performance was really good; we tried to make it ass believable as possible but the fighting scene at the end wasn’t as good as it could have been. However I do think our characters were well worked on and we almost convinced the audience to who we were and what we were doing in the scene. The scene itself had plenty of tension within it brought about by silence and glancing stares. There was also good proxemics in the way we used the space. This also relates to some of the dance work we’ve been doing also that we can’t just use some of the stage its better if we use all of it if you can.
Performing Arts Essay on Dance
To begin with we started to look at different ways of moving and different positions we could use to put across points. This was shown by our dance teacher who also taught us how to warm up properly.
For our stimulus we got given a poem. This poem was about the 7 effects of life (I can’t remember what it was called). We read the poem in 3 major different ways to see if we could get different perspectives from it. The first way we read it was once around each then to spilt it up into three main parts and then to rearrange the poem and spilt it into three separate parts. This turned out to be interesting as the 7 main ideas of the poem came through again. And immediately we came up with the idea of having 7 moves within the dance sequence to emphasise this.
The problem for us was that at this point was that we had plenty of ideas but we already had chosen the music to go with it. I think this was a big problem. This was because we were trying to get moves to fit to the music instead of getting the better moves and putting them to a more suitable piece of music.
How we decided how things might work was that we listened to the music and listened to the main bass line of the piece. This became the overlying concept of our performance, as most of the moves were to do with were the heavy major beats.
When it came to figuring out what moves came in and what stayed out we didn’t have enough to take any out. This is how difficult we were finding dance. So when the dance teacher next came in we asked her for some help and she pointed us in a new direction of using freeze frames to the beats. This was almost it but we were lacking something to stick the opening sequence to the ending sequence so we choose Jazz hands. This came as a joke but in the end it looked like it was supposed to be in the piece.
We then started to string these ideas together and started to come up with timings and started to rehearse parts more than others because it was more complicated not it the way dance complicated but in the way of peoples stretch ability. Because Darren and me could go almost to the bottom on squat and the girls could the girls had to be slightly slower in going down as we got up so that it looked in sync. We were also having problems with rehearsing times as our time was getting cut down because of trying to find a suitably large enough place to rehearse with music.
When we came to perform it we were quite nervous as we had seen other’s, and they looked dance wise more superior. The performance itself I thought was pretty good. It wasn’t I envisioned the final piece to be like though what we were dancing to I think yeah it was an all right piece of dance. I don’t think it added to the meaning to the poem. The only thing we took from that poem was the 7 moves. The techniques we used were mainly small motifs by themselves with links, which linked them together. We also used the same thing to show repetition, which was also apparent within the poem. We used freeze frames and the whole dance scene was mostly non-naturalistic. This can also be used and is used within drama. I feel we used good proxemics as we used superb area of the stage. I think this showed we had added confidence because we had been rehearsing within relatively small areas and we expanded to take most of the stage area.
There are only a couple of things that I would change within the piece. That is to make it less bouncy and more fluid there were to many stops and halts to the whole movement of the piece which I felt gave it a disjointed feel. Also if I was to restart this I would use music which had a more regular beat to it.
Performing Arts Essay on Final Performance
This was to be our last major assessed practical of the current module and this had to include all three aspects of performing arts. This was dance, drama and music.
Our overriding theme for this piece was to be light for our whole school assembly. The first thing that we all heard full school assembly was that everything was everything that everyone expected. Do the old nativity play and tell a story about how the light saved us. We quickly decided to move away from this, as we didn’t want to bore our audience to what they would expect. We had to think what would work and whole inspiration came really from Michael who came up with the idea of a star dance. And everybody went yep great. What else are we going to do and then Jess came up with the rather largely cool idea of having a reunion and having the start dance to take them forward through time to see what would happen. After this initial outburst people started coming out with more and more ideas and then it became slightly over loaded. So we got put into separate groups and given pen and paper to script out what we though would be a suitable run through. Every came up with different ideas but some collaborated and hung together nicely. The theme of reunion was stuck along with the idea of star dance.
We then started the short process of picking roles and picking songs to sing. We needed something with light in it so we used The Rolling Stones Shine a light and John Lennon’s Imagine. We then started to rehearse the main performance as I was doing mainly stage and lights I didn’t have an acting part I was singing and technical. Then I came up with a really good idea for were to put the start dance. This had never ever been done at the time that I had been at the school and this meant that it was going to be a surprise no matter who said what. My idea was to use the upstairs balcony which overlooked the hall. This would be a big surprise. I had to sell the idea and this again didn’t take long.
The main stage of the acting was to be taking place and this was to be a largely fun affair as people couldn’t concentrate long before the next one liner came out and even deeper and thicker plot lines came out. The funniest I though was that Michael was once a school stud ‘the man’ and was going out with who everybody thought was the pick of the bunch and then he left came back 20 years later and he had turned into a munich. Some of the funniest lines we could use within the final performance because it would lower the tone of the overall performance which was fair enough but there were a couple I thought would have brought the house down.
When it came to final performance there was hardly anything that hadn’t been done the stardance looked almost perfect and the singing was pretty bang on also. We had a wonderful acting, which brought across a point as well as make everybody laugh. The stage set for the dancers up above and there was also the lights which had to be places pretty well to make sure everyone was highlighted and seen properly.
The whole performance was great and it went down very well. There was nothing that went wrong and the whole audience enjoyed it a lot.
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