A choreomusical work exploring the relationship between bodily movement in dance and its inherent musicality.

Composer Carlos Guedes draws inspiration from the images of Jinn in Arab culture to explore the embodiment of motion in music, in a collaboration with choreographers and dancers Kiori Kawai (live) and Nella Turkki (video), flutist Cristina Ioan, and media artist Kirk Woolford (live motion capture).

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The Arabic term jinn means “invisible beings.” The jinn are sentient beings who are composed from subtle matter. Before Islam, they were worshiped as gods, as tutelary deities, or as spiritual protectors not only in the Arabian Peninsula but also in neighboring areas…. In Qu’ran… there is mention that [the jinn] are created from ‘scorching winds’ and ‘a smokeless fire,’ and it is also said that they are like humans in that they are rational beings formed of nations.
Medieval Islamic Civilization: An Encyclopedia (Ed. Josef Meri), 2006, p.420)

Artist statement

“The concept of Jinn in Arab culture is used as a metaphor for addressing the question of the musicality inherent in human bodily movement. Movement sonification in musical ways has been one of my main interests when working with dance. Back in 2003, I developed software that could extract musical rhythms from dance movement in real time and use them has a means to articulate the music during performance. Since then I explored different ways of presenting the relationship between bodily movement in dance and its inherent musicality though the use of software that could help bring that relationship to the fore. 2003 was also the year I started collaborating with Kirk Woolford on developing artistic work that relates to the perception of human bodily motion, in pieces such as “Côr” ( Guedes, Ula li & Woolford, 2003), “Will.0.w1sp” (Woolford & Guedes, 2005) or “Echo Locations” (Woolford & Guedes 2008).

In this piece, no software is used to establish this relationship. Instead, different perspectives for perceiving the relationship between bodily movement and its inherent musicality are presented in three distinct ways: (1) by performing the sonification of movement in real time with a musical instrument that was created for that purpose; (2) by removing the body from a video in which the sound and the trace left by the movement remain as the witnesses of this relationship; and (3) by presenting a synthetic rendering of the movement performed by the dancer in the form of a graphical particle system that gets sonified also synthetically. As the body gets progressively dematerialized, the relationship between movement and its musicality becomes increasingly more apparent and clear.” – Carlos Guedes