Poi Documentary film 2m45s Poi Artists’ Statement by Audrey O Brien – Download
A homage to John Cage prepared piano* by Lochaber High School S3 Music class; applying new and experimental ideas and methods to music, art and technology. The film showcases the pupils’ pictures and film, sound from field and voice recordings; sculptural objects, drawings and interactive artwork*.
Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O’Brien worked with the class to explore new and experimental ideas and methods to music, art and technology using new electronic touch board tool, which allows any surface to connect to the digital world by conductive material or electronic paint.
Over four class periods in May/June 2016 Audrey worked with music teacher, Mr Young and 17 young people to learn and use and create their own ‘instruments’.
Mr Young had previously taught the class about one of the major figures in the modernist movement in music, John Cage. The class studied Prepared Piano – in which Cage placed objects on piano strings to alter the sound when played. To reintroduce this method, Mr Young suggested the pupils experimented with objects on the school piano strings.
The project started by collecting the objects pupils had in their school bags that were conductive, adding these to a collection of conductive objects on a table in the middle of the room. The most notable object to emerge from a school bag was a ruby shoe! The metal studs recorded on the piano generated unusual sounds.
A series of field recordings were then made by pupils from their own environment.
Sculptural objects were made by cutting and bending aluminium wire rods. These small sculptures would form the main body of their ‘instruments’ and the surface to connect to the digital recorded sounds via the Touch Board.
The project culminated in a performance with pupils acting as both audience and participants as their handmade ‘instruments’ were played alongside an improvised musical score.
Pupils photographed and filmed the entire process, which is shown here in this short documentary film.
In the Poi Artists’ Statement written to accompany the film, Audrey O Brien explains:
‘The title Poi comes from a tradition of performance art using voice, music, objects and dance (originating from New Zealand). It also means object manipulation. I have used the word Poi as a symbol of young people shaping and constructing their own learning. I like to use materials easily changeable. In this project, aluminium wire rods were shaped to make objects in the instrument construction. I wanted to find a word that supported the idea of young people having more control of their learning experience.’
Audrey O Brien was appointed by Room 13 International to work with pupils and staff to develop and deliver a series of cross curricular projects and creative engagements at Lochaber High School. Audrey’s role, and the many projects she effected during her residency with Room 13, was made possible with project funding from Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.
A screening of this short film by S3 pupils (running time: 2mins 47s) will take place as a fringe event at:
Winter Wind Band Concert, Wednesday 30th November, 7.30pm at Lochaber High School
Tickets are free and can be collected from Lochaber High School Office.
Introduction to Poi
In May/June 2016 Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O’ Brien introduced Mr Young’s S3 Music class to an electronic tool called a touch board – this allows any surface to connect to the digital world by conductive material or electronic paint.
This short documentary film is a collage of the pupils work: pictures and film documenting the four week project; sound from field recordings and voice recordings; shaped objects and drawings and artist in residence pictures and sound for the film. The film focuses on an interactive artwork which took place on the final class with the pupils.
Poi Running Time: 2mins 47s
The word ‘Poi’ comes from a tradition of performance art using voice, music, objects and dance (originated from New Zealand). It also means object manipulation and is used here as a symbol of young people shaping and constructing their own learning.
This project was made possible with project funding made available to Room 13 a partner in Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first ever dada event, Room 13 invited members of the public to stretch their imaginations in a dada and surrealist manner at a recent event in the new Room 13 Community Studio at Caol.
Marking 100 years since the first ever dada event, on June 23rd 1916, Room 13’s dada day event was a playful introduction to Dada or Dadaism, an artistic movement that spread across Europe during and after the First World War (1914 – 1918). Short lived but prolific, the movement was a response to war and to what the artists saw as unprecedented horror and human folly. The works they produced were an active engagement of politics and culture.
This event was the inspiration of Audrey O’ Brien, and marked the end of her time as a visiting Artist in Residence at Lochaber High School. Audrey has been in post since October 2015, working with pupils and staff to develop and deliver a series of cross curricular projects and creative engagements.
Audrey likened her experience of Room 13 to this movement and wanted to host a celebration of its 100th anniversary because:
“Dada art derided the idea that the artist was deserving of special status. The artist was a fallible mortal like everybody else, conversely, everyone else was capable of the same creative freedom as the artist.”
Dada & Surrealism, Robert Short
Room 13’s Dada Day was attended by Art, Music and History classes from Lochaber High School, and curious members of the public.
The event featured film screenings, sound installations, and visual displays representing the spirit and history of dadaism. Participants were encouraged to try out a variety of art techniques popular with the dada artists: Poem recipes, photomontage, experimental film-making and not forgetting to pay a visit to the Toilet Gallery!
Audrey followed up with a final visit to Lochaber High School on Wednesday 29th June to pose questions to pupils and reflect on their experience of Dada Day. She found that the teenagers have a lot to say in relation to recent events and political upheaval. Audrey explains:
“I am interested in the artistic movement Dada or Dadaism to provoke young people to think about the ideas behind this movement and provoke conversations on what current issues are important to them. It happened that my visit fell in the wake of the referendum. In their responses to questions such as ‘What issues are important to you and why?’ the pupils showed an acute awareness of recent events and concerns for their future.”
Audrey’s role, and the many projects she has effected during her time with Room 13, was made possible through project funding made available to Room 13 a partner in Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.
As well as supporting an artist to work with Lochaber High School and Room 13 Community Studio, this 2 year project has enabled Room 13 to deliver a range of different activities across Lochaber, involving over 300 young people aged 5-25. Room 13’s programme for Highland Youth Arts Hub has included workshops for Very Young Artists, mentoring and development of a youth volunteer group at Room 13 Community Studio and a series of workshops aimed at helping schools and remote communities to Grow Your Own Room 13.
The principles of Dadaism centred on deliberate irrationality, anarchy and cynicism, and the rejection of the laws of beauty and social organisation.
Artists, musicians, writers and intellectuals discussed their love of the irrational and the nonsensical in terms of a rejection of the political and cultural values which they argued had created the war in the first place. The movement was based on the principles of deliberate nonsense and ‘childish’ responses; th
Lochaber High School students Maddie Lennon, William Landsborough and Jennifer McKenna worked with Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O Brien to present Synaesthesia, an interactive art workshop using new digital media to explore Synaesthesia, a condition that can make you see sounds as colours.
Taking over a corridor on the second floor of Lochaber High School, the artists splashed colour into the minds of a lunchtime audience. The school is newly refurbished and it is forbidden to hang anything onto the walls. Artist Audrey has been encouraging the group to take ownership of the white spaces and propose changes through visual art ideas and events. This temporal event was the outcome of the Ideas group which developed through a series of quick lunchtime conversations, building tours and ideas sharing.
The idea came from one of the artist’s experience of synaesthesia. The artists used technology new to the school – a creative electronic tool with touch sensors to present this invention to their audience. Four musical tracks were selected from Maddie’s personal collection and uploaded to a touch board. People touched the interactive surface to set off an audio sensor. MP3 files were played and the audience was to select a colour to represent what they “saw” when listing to the four musical tracks.
Pupils and teachers found common ground in thinking and discussing colour and sound perception, and the following comments were made in response to the piece:
Interesting project – I could “see” shape easier for violin but colour for the others.
Very interesting, I loved the idea of this.
I seemed to relate a colour to trumpets and violins which coincided with someone else’s’ choice → weird!
I was most confident of the drums – pink and red and pulsing. The violin was pretty intensely purple too. Very cool, thought provoking project!
Very interesting and fun. Have been using colour as a relaxation tool, related to memory and the colour → related to a shape and sound.
Interesting, weird, but very easy to see colours – so cool!
This is a great idea! it really made me think about the sounds.
Love the idea of this and its a great way to try and understand how some people see, hear, touch and smell the world.
Its really strange but it shows how certain colours mean different things to people.
Artists: Maddie Lennon, William Landsborough and Jennifer McKenna
Photography & Film: Jennifer McKenna, Zuzia Kruk, Audrey O’Brien
Technology: Bare Conductive Touch Board
Tame Impala – Feels Like We Only Go Backwards
Wynton Marsalis – I Can’t Get Started
Rimsky-Korsakov – Scheherazade- IV. Festival at Baghdad – The Sea – The Ship Breaks [Part 4-4]
Spirited Away OST One Summers Day
Audrey O Brien was appointed by Room 13 International in 2015/16 to work with pupils and staff to develop and deliver a series of cross curricular projects and creative engagements at Lochaber High School. Audrey’s role, and the many projects she effected during her residency with Room 13, was made possible with project funding from Highland Youth Arts Hub and supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine initiative.
When sound triggers the visualization of colored, generic shapes, sound-to-color synesthesia is at play. For certain people, the stimuli are limited, and only a few types of sounds will trigger a perception. However, there are cases wherein many different sounds trigger color visualizations. Usually, the perceived colors appear in generic shapes – squares, circles, etc. http://www.synesthesiatest.org/types-of-synesthesia
Synaesthesia is a condition where a sensation in one of the senses, such as hearing, triggers a sensation in another, such as taste. http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/synaesthesia/Pages/Introduction.aspx
The five most common forms are:
It’s a first!
In 2015, Scotland hosted the prestigious Turner Prize exhibition for the first time.
The Turner Prize, organised by Tate, is awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 for an outstanding exhibition in the preceding year. The Turner Prize introduces us to new artists and new ideas in contemporary art.
We took this opportunity to organize a visit to Tramway in Glasgow view the exhibition. We were joined by 26 young people and teachers from Lochaber High School and Ardnamurchan High School. This excursion was supported by Highland Youth Arts Hub, as part of our new venture in working more closely with the local high schools.
At Tramway, we had the chance to examine the work of the four nominees up close, and took part in a workshop to explore the processes behind creating a prize-winning contemporary artwork.
We watched a series of performances of ‘Doug’ by Janice Kerbel. The work takes the form of nine songs for six voices and calls on the history of physical comedy, animated cartoons, narrative ballad and operatic librettos.
Pupils who studied Advanced Higher music immediately related to the use of operatic techniques and the artists concept of applying them in her opera. The songs were imagined disasters of a character called Doug. One pupil recognised the use of glissando (is a glide from one pitch to another) and pitch inversions in performance ‘slip’.
On our tour, we were prompted to discuss how we felt inside Nicole Wermer’s installation ‘Infrastruktur’, consider the use of materials, and how the arrangement of the objects related to the artist’s message in her work.
We completed Turner Prize educational worksheets as part of our tour, besides which each person in our group filled their own custom made sketchbooks. These were created by Room 13 Artist in Residence Audrey O’Brien and filled with questions and prompts on visual literacy.
After our tour, we returned to the studio where there were four activities to help us further explore the four artists. We were really keen to hear how each of the young artists responded personally to the exhibition.
Post trip, Lochaber High School art teacher Miss Blair along with an advanced higher pupil, wanted to put the trip into context and allow pupils who did not attend the trip to be involved in the Turner Prize debate. They organised a re-creation of the four activities and hosted a debate at lunchtime on 7th December (the day the Turner Prize winner was to be announced).
They used a long piece of string to represent a scale by which to measure the pupils responses to the question: Is it art?
The majority of the pupils at the debate said yes because:
“Their work is original and they think of it themselves” and “It takes time and effort to do the art pieces”.
They also created a survey monkey poll for the school to hold their own vote on who should win. The majority voted Assemble. Later that evening, the judges of the Turner Prize came to the same conclusion as Lochaber High School.
Post Author: Audrey O Brien
Photos: Audrey O Brien
Our thanks to all applicants who submitted proposals in response to our brief for an artist to join our team in Lochaber.
After much deliberation, with all candidates being of a very high standard, we are thrilled to announce that we have appointed Audrey O’Brien as a new Artist in Residence working with Room 13 in Lochaber. Audrey will focus on developing and delivering a new series of projects and creative engagements with community groups and local schools, particularly Lochaber High School.
Audrey will work closely with Richard Bracken, who is currently the lead artist for Room 13 in Lochaber and the Room 13 International team. We are very excited about working with her too! She is very passionate about the project and we think she will bring a lot of experience and enthusiasm to the role.
Visit Audrey’s website to take a look at her previous work:
This new role will expand the team of artists working with Room 13 in Lochaber and creates new opportunities for us to promote engagement and understanding of contemporary arts practice among the community and reach out to groups already keen to work with Room 13.
With Audrey on board, we will have greater capacity enthuse, involve and mentor a core of young people as collaborators in visual art projects in and out of school.
This new residency opportunity has been created as part of our delivery as a partner in the Highland Youth Arts Hub and is supported by Creative Scotland’s Time to Shine Fund.
Our thanks to the interview panel including HYAH representative and youth volunteer who gave up their time to help us in the selection process.