Making Waves : Light City 2016



Kinetic Frenetic (A Collaboration with Jenn Figg, Matthew McCormack, and David Fakunle)

Performers include David Fakunle, Duane Hinton, Jahi Jelani, Brova Tobias, Jabari Jefferson,
Themba Sipho Mkhatshwa, Frank Holliday, Charles Watson, and Zakiya Jefferson.

Community Beacons: Making Waves was a community-based and community-driven participatory percussion project fusing the combined forces of sound and light to activate individuals' energies toward positive social transformation. Making Waves was a marriage of ancient tradition and innovative technology using performance and custom kinetic instruments that illuminated a local landmark - the Baltimore Visitor Center - with waves of dynamic light.

With percussive sounds unique to Baltimore, performers played a blend of traditional African rhythms in combination with beats popularized in Baltimore's clubs. Organized performances dovetailed with facilitated interaction throughout each night.

The light of the drums was amplified in the Visitor Center, creating a wave of light within the building in response to drumming. In this way, the instrument sculptures were illuminated directly from human power, while the Visitor Center became a dynamic jewel of light, lit from within.

We are inspired to create instruments that harness human-generated kinetic energy to sustain connection, communication, and creativity, and see the light drums as powerful objects that encourage participants to project their own energy out as light. This real time visualization of energy is a reminder of the power we each possess to create positive change and beauty in the world.

The strength of kinetic light performance is the visual confirmation of our individual power.

This series of instruments were created in the spirit of Afrofuturism: 3D printed djembe bodies with rope tuned, traditional animal skin heads. Custom transducers generate energy from performance, leveraging the potentials of music, analog technology, and audience participation in a celebration of energy transformation. Community Beacons are an investigation of energy storage and transformation, and of synesthesia, where sound becomes light, and light becomes sound.

Thank you to Baba Baile, Scott Caine, BOPA, and Visit Baltimore for all their support throughout this project.

 
 
 
 
 
 
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