Sound:machine - Abimaro

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The Southbank Centre’s annual Chorus Festival came back on a high this Easter weekend 2015, bringing together professional singers with members of the public through the workshops on offer, which anyone was welcome to be a part of. Abimaro Gunnell’s creation of the human sound:machine was a prime example of the musicality and interactive element of the Chorus Festival.


The workshop consisted of some vocal training and warm ups, to eventually then split us into four different groups, each assigned a unique vocal line and rhythm to play. Put together, this created a harmonizing and catchy song and beats using just the voice and our clapping.


The unique part of Abimaro’s sound machine however was the interactive performance that took place outside afterwards, on the Southbank. Members of the public who were passing by were then able to interact with the singers, directing the sound they wanted out of the sound:machine. They could direct whether we were singing or if we were just clapping the rhythms using the tools designed by Lakwena Maciver, or whether only a certain group was performing their part by use of the coloured squares, and control even the tempo at which we were performing.


The members of the public were highly drawn in, particularly the children, who were incredibly excited and enthusiastic controlling this human sound:machine with the colours and the sounds we created. This performance was the debut of the sound:machine, proven to be a highly successful experiment, proven by the fact more and more people came up to participate even after we were meant to have finished!