From the initial gestation of the project layers of potential metaphor inherent in the Story Bridge site suggested the theme and content to be developed. Proximity and perception of the site suggested a sonic environment and a visionary perception of the Story Bridge as a huge musical instrument. The title Bridge Song recognises a series of sonic events as cognition and initiation of the projects process. Audio perception has been developed through three sonic maps: keynote, signals, and unique tones. Keynote sounds are the subtle fundamental tones, signals are conscious foreground sounds and unique tones are the ambient sounds of the environment (Schafer, Murray R. 1994. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and Tuning of the World, Vermont: Destiny Books). There are a variety of sonic environments associated with the Story Bridge. The bridge roadway and the flow of traffic are one obvious example. Others are the sonic environ of the river, the urban and built environment with its particular qualities of sound reflection and absorption.
Live Music for Performance
The integration of musical performance is another collaborative layer although it developed through studio rehearsal only, independent of environmental fieldwork. Perhaps the aim of incorporating live music is residue from previous projects, as all Bonemap major performance works have engaged live music through composers and musicians, although this is the first time composers have not participated in the field research component. It is an integral component for seeking originality in new work and new audiences for live art. It justifies negotiation and extension of copyrighted sound and music material across components. Initially a single musician was sought to balance the solo dancer on stage during the performance component. As well as the directorial concept of one-on-one dancer and musician, seeking a single performer was a financial consideration. The choice of musician was the result of referral by associate Daryl Buckley Director Elision Contemporary Music Ensemble. A preparedness to compromise and shift conceptual parameters was already being discussed before meeting the proposed musicians Vanessa Tomlinson and Erik Griswold of Clocked Out Duo. In developing the relationship with Elision, there was little hesitation in embracing an extended line-up of performers. Initially the only compromise was financial.
After two meetings and listening to Clocked Out Duo recordings, weekly rehearsals were arranged. The initial collaborative layer of Rebecca and myself had produced a draft structure and scene list, with scenes at various stages of development. We had also incorporated one of Eriks piano recordings into the video work Flesh Kaleidoscope, to associate their authorship with our process and collaboration. After two rehearsals the basic score for each scene had been established, leaving the scene order and transitions to be worked out over the remaining few rehearsals.