They Live Next Door

They Live Next Door is a touching, tender and gritty show that knits unique stories with intricate choreography and nostalgic live melodies. Set in a home, on a street not too far from your own, it explores the light and the dark of familiar relationships. The duet is an emotional rollercoaster that sensitively uncovers the complexities of preconceptions around masculinity. At times conforming and other times shaking off stereotypes, multiple relationships between the two men unravel, weaving memories,expectations and domestic rituals. They Live Next Door sets out to ask how social stereotypes affect our identity and our relationships with each other.

Researching the Choreography of Sound

Following an 8 year career writing and designing sound for contemporary dance, the Choreography of Sound is my first attempt at taking away the dancers and exploring just the movement of sound. After all, sound is a wave; and exists only within movement. So what happens when I start to shape how that sound moves in a space?

The Hotel Experience- Lila Dance

I’ve been working with Lila Dance again over the last few months on a new immersive dance performance called The Hotel Experience. Here are some shots from my photoshoot with them in the Creation Space at The Point. I love dance photography and when it is always interesting to try to capture the themes of the show in photoshoot. One of my key aims was to use flash photography to freeze moments in time or motion,  illustrating how the hotel is a place of transition. The show has a magical element to it, that the hotel itself feels somehow alive, and i’ve tried to show this through the surreal look of bodies floating above the bed. Let me know what you think in the comments below.

Do people with hidden disabilities hear sound differently?

In Brighton the sound of seagulls, traffic and people blend into a mixture of noise that most people have unconsciously trained their minds to filter out. Modern life has added a fairly invasive mix of mobile notification sounds, buzzing home appliances, music piped into every shop, self service check out machines, and phone waiting music to name a few.

Dance Photography- Amy Morvell

Olympus Em5 Mark II, M.Zuiko 17mm F1.8

Dancer Amy Morvell and I had a great time shooting some dance photography in Chichester last week. We started in the picturesque Priory Park, and then headed over to the University of Chichester for some studio shots.

Reaching 1000 followers on Instagram 

(updated from 500 followers a month later)
Anyone who’s launched a profile on Instagram will know how demoralising it is when you make a huge effort to gain less followers than most teenagers have without trying. So with the hope that I can save others time and research, here’s what I’ve found successful in my journey to 1000 followers.

Around The House

Model Flora Gibbs shows us how to spend a lazy day taking it easy Around The House, relaxing, drinking coffee, listening to music, and curling up with duvets on the sofa.

Super soft make up and hair styling by Evie Smith @evies_makup

All shots taken on Olympus Em5 Mark ii, with Olympus 45mm f1.8 and 17mm f1.8

Instagram links: @dougieevans@evies_makup@floragibbs

Outfit: Pink cable knit jumper- Rolla’s Jeans, white crop tee- Asos, Jeans- Model’s own, Eyelash Knickers- Asos

Using room tones in Theatre & Dance Soundtracks

Room tones are the sound of silence.

I‘ve borrowed the term ‘roomtone’ from the film industry, where regular practice is to record the stillness of a room or location after each shoot. That way, when various takes of are edited together, they can be glued into one continuous scene by a consistent audio background.

Every environment has a its own distinctive audio fingerprint of almost imperceivable sounds. They include everything from the quiet humming of electrical equipment, extractor fans and appliances, to the weather outside or distant traffic noise.

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Dougie Evans (left) using the Tascam DR-40, Rode NT2 microphone, and Boom Pole.

If room tones were missing in a film, the silence would be so unnatural that the audience would think that the sound had stopped working. And yet I am constantly surprised at how many Theatre and Dance soundtracks don’t include a constant ambient track. For me, the moment I hear silence breaks the illusion of the theatrical world, and I remember that I am sat watching a show.

My soundtracks are peppered with recorded silence, room tones and ambient tracks. In The Deluge by Lila Dance, I created a track called endless rain. It’s over an hour of constantly evolving rain which loops automatically so that the audience will always be immersed by the sound. The soundtrack is run on Qlab which allows the tracks to not only overlap, but also automatically cue volume shifts in the rain. The Deluge is an immersive physical theatre show, and the sound plays a huge part in helping the audience feel like they are living in the fictional world.

stopgap-enormous-room-dance-photography-9Another example is Stopgap Dance Company’s The Enormous Room, which features a track predictably titled ‘The Enormous Room Tone’. It runs throughout the show, and ensures that when a music track ends there is never ‘true’ silence. The  whole show is situated in a living room, and the track reflects that by including a ticking clock, gentle hums of the kitchen next door, and the faint sound of traffic outside the house.

For me, these sounds at the edge of our perception fill theatrical worlds with life and character, and have become a fundamental part of my work. But perhaps my ears have become too tuned into this kind of thing.

So let me know if you’ve ever noticed silence, or felt completely engulfed by a soundtrack in the comments below.

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