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 project is in partnership with my dance company, Lîla Dance, the Gildas String Quartet, Hampshire Youth Dance, and The Point.

My Inspiration

janet-cardiff_baltic_imageA big inspiration for this project was Janet Cardiff‘s Forty Part Motet, which I saw at Fabrica Gallery during Brighton Festival 2011. In Cardiff’s exhibition, forty separate voices are played back through forty speakers; allowing the listener to move around a space and discover a new way of hearing the music. I found this a truly inspiring and immersive listening experience, and one which made me continue to consider how my music is presented to an audience. After seeing the exhibition I couldn’t help but wonder what could be achieved if the music was actually composed with multiple outputs in mind.

The first time I experimented with this idea was for my soundtrack for Lîla Dance’s immersive dance show The Deluge. The main action happens within a ‘safe-house’ where the audience are seated in a horseshoe shape with four speakers around them (quadraphonic sound). This enabled me to assign instruments to places in the space, the piano was upstage left and the rain always traveled from upstage to downstage. Throughout the show various sound effects travel around the space, and musical elements creep in from different corners. In the final scene a huge, deep cracking sound signals an earthquake at sea, and the sound washes over the audience like the tidal wave of the show.

Research Ideas

There are two strands to my research, one is working with dancers to record sounds which can can bring the space alive with movement. I want to discover what it feels like to hear invisible dancers all around the space, or feel twenty people rushing through you. This strand is in collaboration with Lîla Dance, a dance company I am co-artistic director of, and Hampshire Youth Dance Company (HYDC).

The second strand of research is about discovering a new way of hearing music. What does it feel like to stand in the middle of a String Quartet? Can a solo instrument, like a piano or guitar, become an immersive experience?  If I place the listener in a macro listening environment, can it feel like they are inside the instrument?

Surround Sound Equipment

My current audio set up for the Choreography of Sound uses 8 speakers; 6 monitors and two subwoofers. The speakers are positioned in a combination of ear height and floor level which enables sound to move not only forwards backwards left and right, but also up and down- like a dancer.COS Design Mock Illustation.jpg


Choreography of Sound is supported by Arts Council England.

Follow this blog, my Facebook and Instgram for more updates on this project.

Main image by Odes of Ink.

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.

Digital Artist

Dougie Evans is a Digital Artist working across multiple art forms, with a specialism in capturing everyday life and human experiences. Previous work includes installations, photography, films, audio walks, music, and soundtracks.

My sound work has become recognisable by its unique mix of field recordings with real instruments and sound design. Whether a soundtrack for a show or a sound installation, my work always aims to transport the audience so that they feel like they are in a fictional world, even if that world is abstract or electronic. The use of familiar sounds in sometimes unfamiliar ways has become my trademark.

My visual work has a strong focus on portraits and documentary photography, capturing the beauty and interest of real people and real life. My equipment is portable, un-intrusive, weather proof, and produces extremely high quality images and videos. I can set up very quickly, and easily adapt to changing environments and locations.


Light Me Up

Lord Almighty,
I feel my temperature rising
Higher higher
[…]You light my morning sky
With burning love

(Elvis Presley- Burning Love)

Light Me Up, is an intimate story of how we can light up the people love, featuring the gorgeous young talented Stacey Holroyd.

All taken on an Olympus OMD Em5 Mark ii, with M.Zuiko 25mm f1.8 and M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8, edited in Lightroom. All shots taken with only the light from the fairly lights, proving that micro four thirds has no problem in ultra low light, and can achieve some beautiful bokeh.

Stacey Holroyd

Modelling Portfolio test shoot with model Stacey Holroyd.


Shoot location Hive Studios, near Eastleigh, Southampton, Winchester.

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.

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.

This is the second dance photography session since switching to the micro four thirds camera Olympus Em5 Mark II. Most of the outdoor shots are taken with the M.Zuiko 45mm f1.8, when I had more space to step back and create a more shallow depth of field. The studio shots are mostly taken with the M.Zuiko 17mm f1.8.

Flash equipment- 2 x Yongnou YN-560 IV, YN560-TX Wireless Flash Trigger, PhotoSEL 22×90 Strip Softbox, Neweer 20x20cm Soft Box

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.

Find real followers

The key to my strategy has been to find real followers. Don’t be tempted with companies that offer to gain you thousands of followers. Followers who don’t care, or aren’t real (in many cases) won’t engage in your posts and that will stop you from growing. For the same reason, I also made a choice to try and organically pick up followers who are interested in my work rather than targeting my friends on Facebook. This strategy can be slow at the start but means that my engagement on instagram is good, and when lots of people like my posts it helps me find new followers.

Use #Hashtags

Popular hashtags are used so frequently that your post will disappear in a flood of new posts almost immediately. Once I noticed this, I stopped using them and went on a hunt for less popular and more relevant tags. My most successful hashtags have been

#under1k #under3kyo #ukphotographer #whyweshoot #creativesontherise #em5markii #45mmf18 #microfourthirds

These hashtags help me connect with other photographers who are either UK based or shooting with similar equipment.

Like similar posts

Now you know how to find people who make similar stuff to you, this leads me on to hands down the most effective part of my strategy has been to like other posts to hashtags that I am using. I don’t follow other accounts in the hope that they will follow me, and then unfollow them, and I don’t often comment on posts either. All I do is like similar posts- hundreds of them! And since I started doing that I’ve been gaining 10-20 followers a day.

Post at the right time

IMG_6349.PNGAs img_6340-2As any quick google search of how to gain Instagram followers will tell you, one of the most important factors is the time you post. This will vary a great deal depending on your target follower but, once you have made your Instagram account a business you can use the insights to discover when the best times are.

You can access your insights by clicking on the graph symbol on your page, then scroll down to the followers graph. This shows which hours (along the bottom) that your followers are most active on. I always aim to post slightly before the peak times, so that my post is at the top of the feed when they first open the app.

Around The House

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